Love Came Down with Justice

2014-10-14 16.15.01Justice begins with God Almighty.  In mercy, God dropped the plumbline of heaven’s righteous rule, His Word, to earth . Through His wisdom, God offers  peace to all, if we apply  His standards, as He issues opportunity to  the good life.

In Proverbs, the abundant life includes more than good health, good relationships and goods to share.The fulfillment God highlights through Proverbs includes defined truth, moral living and justice without compromise.

Consider what Proverbs says about justice:

  • The words of proverbs were written “To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity” (1:3).
  • God guards and establishes justice : “He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.”(2:8)
  • Wisdom is required to understand justice: “Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path.”(2:9)
  • God leads kings for justice:  “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.” (8:15)
  • God’s way brings us into justice:  “I traverse the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice,”(8:20)
  • Justice is non-partial to economic status:  “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste.”(13:23)
  • Justice is more valuable than wealth:  “Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.”(16:8)
  • Bribes corrupt justice. “A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice”(17:23).
  • Justice is chosen or scorned. “A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.”(19:28)
  • God puts higher value on justice than sacrifice. “To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (21:3)
  • The wicked refuse to do justice. “The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice.”(21:7)
  • The just love to do justice. “It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”(21:15)
  • In seeking the Lord, you gain understanding of justice.  “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.”(28:5)
  • Authority is given to establish justice. “The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it. “(29:4)
  • Justice comes from God.  “Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the LORD.”(29:26)
  • Justice can be missed when those in authority choose comfort over responsibility. “Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” (31:5)

2014-10-10 08.20.02Justice is established by applied righteousness without partiality as God leads, not with ideas but with action, a practice for the strong.  Weak and vain imaginations reap only idealistic perceptions of justice and disappoint the broken. Justice is not a hashtag, a social media slogan or a t-shirt.

In India, I work with a church who have opened a home for children born in brothels, who have adopted these wee girls as their own.  They  pour in resources and are startled by the joy of these courageous children. As the church pushes for justice for women, even as they fight sex trafficking with marches and petitions and intense prayer,  they put legs to love, marched into the darkest places and escorted the little ones to a home adorned with choice, giving these young ones much needed education, safety and belonging, and above all, love.

Justice is active, not passive.2014-10-09 17.28.10

Justice recognizes that the authority we have bears the responsibility to establish justice in our sphere of influence.

Justice comes from God alone.  He highlights the path and leads us to stoop down in mercy, to ignore the steep systemic walls, to bravely unlock cages for the voiceless throwaways with keys of justice.

Justice is a response with practical strategy, intentional and designed for impact. Justice requires sacrifice and heart and a marathon mindset.  A sprint will never win justice.  In the long, drawn out battle for justice denied firmly through institutional and bureaucratic traditions, practices and oversight, endurance is key.

I work in a maternity home.  I see the ravages of injustice as we minister to homeless pregnant women, often bereft of family support, often poor, always betrayed by systems,  jaded and raw.  Justice is void in their life story on every level.

Hope deferred by our humanity has crushed their hearts.

Each time a mother trusts again through the loving support of the residents and caregivers in this home, I see God. Justice is an entrenched value here,  established by the visionary who fought for more than a short-term shelter, creating a residence for deep holistic healing, shattering dysfunction with dignity, giving Christ’s unconditional love to women long denied.

Like love, justice requires legs and hands and voice, all in, full out, focused and inspired by the goodness of our God.  A royal walk is required.

2014-10-13 13.19.14The fight for justice can be agonizing.  To seek justice, one must embark on a journey replete with obstacles, requiring perseverance, a steady swim upstream, often solitary, and misunderstood, as systems are upended, traditions are reviewed and norms are debated.  Yet justice is something God adores.

I long for justice to erupt across the nations.  I long for the broken to be seen and heard. I long for my life to matter, that in the end, I will have won justice for many, one intentional step at a time.

Today, I pray that we each live as kings and priests unto God and establish justice as He leads.  May we delight our Father as we manifest as his sons upon this earth and shift systems to justice for His Glory.  May “Christian” be synonymous for engaged, caring, involved not distant or judgmental.  “They will know you by Your love”, He promised, to His disciples then and now.

Justice is key to fulfillment in life.  May we long for the doors of justice to open for the broken.  May we realize the keys to justice are in our very hands.

Let’s pray:  Lord, may we each find ways and opportunities to bring justice where You lead us.  May we see with Your eyes the poor, the broken, those needing justice, and by Your wisdom, just act.  Amen

Study Questions:

  1.  What area of justice is meaningful to you?
  2. Where is God leading you to walk in justice?
  3.  Is justice worth fighting for?  Why?
  4. What do you do when justice is denied?
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in paths of justice.

This Week’s Reading:  Proverbs 11-25

Next Week’s Reading:  Proverbs 26 – Ecclesiastes 3

Sorry for the long delay in posts.  I have been quite ill with the flu.  I covet your prayers and hope you are each in great health today! – Jenny