“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” -Frederick Douglass
What comes to mind when you hear the word justice? Do you think of a social justice movement, where a group of people peacefully advocate for the rights of an oppressed minority? Do you think of the police arresting someone and the issue being handled through the court system? Both images are accurate.
However, it should be noted that justice and revenge are two separate terms. Justice is about a fair and legal solution to right a criminal or social wrong. Revenge, on the other hand, is a person or group of people taking the law into their own hands to execute their brand of “justice.”
God is Just
The Bible teaches us that God is just. God always does what is ethically and morally right. God is fair in His judgments because He alone is righteous. Justice in the Bible is about fairness, mercy, and righteousness. The Bible teaches us that justice is part of God’s personality.
“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-18, NASB).
“For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:4-5, NASB).
God Expects us to Show Justice
If we are to live for God, we must reflect God in our lives. If God is patient, loving, and kind, He expects the same standard from us. As Christians, we are to be a voice for those who have no voice.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NASB).
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate!” (Amos 5:14-15, NASB).
Speaking up for the oppressed, taking care of the less fortunate, and treating everyone fairly is important to God. In fact, Jesus’ strongest rebukes were for the Pharisees and the other religious leaders of His day, who neglected the true meaning of God’s teachings for the shallow outwardly praise of the people.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law; justice and mercy and faithfulness: but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23, NASB).
How Do We Practice Biblical Justice?
Proverbs 28:5 says, Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the Lord understand all things.”
So in order for us to practice biblical justice, we must be in right relationship with God. In any kind of human relationship, the more time you spend with another person, the more you get to know them- you learn their passions, their likes and dislikes, and their expectations of said relationship. Our relationship with God works on the same principle- the more time we spend with God in study and prayer, the more we learn about God and what He cares about. Proverbs 2:1-10 teaches us the importance of seeking God and how it will enlighten our understanding of Him. If we seek God, we will become wise.
“My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” (Proverbs 2:1-10, NASB).
As we continue to go forward during these times, let us continue to seek the Lord and follow His path. God bless you all.