Understanding Justice

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.” Proverbs 28:5 NLT

What is fair? What is right? What is just? These questions that we see addressed in our day, have been questions of concern through the ages. As we view demonstrations in cities of all kinds, related to all types of issues; often the term “justice” is in the forefront.

The use of the term “justice” can be easily misused, because who wants to be on the side of injustice?

Justice is an important biblical concept. We see the psalmist declare, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne….” (Psalm 89:14 NIV) He prophet Micah said the Lord’s will is for us “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)

In the Old Testament injustice was reflected in how the poor were treated. It was seen in the paying of bribes, unjust judgments, mistreatment of widows and those who could be taken advantage of.

In our day, what is labeled as “unjust” can be similar to but still a far cry from what we can observe in different times and cultures. Many feel it is “unjust” that some have greater financial resources than others. Some feel it is unjust to enforce certain laws, expectations and behaviors across the spectrum of society. For example, I often point out that we can have compassion and show respect for the poor, but poverty is not an excuse to be self-centered, rude and inconsiderate. Let alone to break the law.

Our verse for today reveals that those who are “evil” don’t understand true justice. That can be reflected in those in power, who are guilty of oppression having a distorted view of “justice.” It can also be those who claim to be for marginalized groups in our world today, accusing others of being “unjust” in order to push their social agenda.

The poetic contrast of the proverb then states, “those who follow the Lord understand it [justice] completely.” That brings the focus to what the Lord has to say and not what an individual or an interest group would have to say. We need an impartial judge or perspective to help us understand justice. That comes from the Lord and His Word. The challenges still persist, but the frame of reference and the orientation makes all the difference.

I am on the board of an organization called, “G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice.” Our challenging name speaks to “Geo-political Leadership Opportunities for Biblical Advocacy and Leadership” related to justice.

While our founder addresses a number of “justice” issues in a variety of settings, both secular and sacred; the perspective that is offered comes from an understanding that true justice comes from the One who is Just, Holy and True.

Instead of looking at the Lord and declaring Him and His ways “unjust” we need to ask the Lord to give us understanding and insight into that which is truly just. Moses declared of the Lord, “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 NIV)

Justice is an issue that continually needs to be addressed. But if we are going to understand it completely, we need to look to the Lord and make sure our thoughts, actions and attitudes align with His character and words.

Prayer for today….. Lord thank you that you are just in all of your ways. When we follow you, we can understand true justice and how to apply it to our world and lives today.