Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 16: 20

 

Certainly we all want and seek after justice. Why would it be any other way? Justice is what makes this world seem fair, and it is what allows us to trust in our social systems. Yet, what passes for justice in our culture is often perverted, held back, or completely absent from the scene. Considering that Moses is warning the nation of Israel about God’s concerns regarding their application of justice, it would seem that the problem of actually living as a just society is not such a modern issue. The desire to receive just treatment is fundamental to human endeavor. Likewise, our reluctance to grant it to others runs deeply in our fallen hearts.

 

Justice is the last thing that Satan wants for us to honestly embrace. He is served by people who hold a distorted and a perverted view of what it means to live justly. God’s view of justice involves a system where our treatment of others can not be bought or sold. There should be no price that can be paid in order to receive proper treatment from people that have position, power, and authority. Also, there are no people who are so empowered and authorized who will change their ruling or alter their perspective based upon another’s ability or willingness to pay. Justice, as God views it, requires us to be willing to do all that is in our power to see to it that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and in a manner that seeks to build up both the individual and the society.

 

The application of justice involves sacrifice. We need to give away opportunities to gain status and power in order to treat others in this manner. Living in a just land is often a dirty and a messy business. The people that we need to engage with in order to bring it about are quite often the poor, the disadvantaged, and the lost. They can be people who are easy to pass by, and frequently they are the ones that we desire with all of our hearts to ignore in the hopes that they won’t speak to us. These people are the ones that the brokenness of sin has marked as easy targets. These are the members of society that Jesus walked up to and embraced with the warmth and the compassion of the Father. These people are you and I in any number of possible circumstances. These disadvantaged and damaged souls are equally made in God’s image. They are our neighbors, and they are our brothers and sisters.

Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 16: 20

 

Justice is something that most of us cry out for. When things don’t go our way, whether in the smaller issues of fair play in a crowded parking lot or in the bigger concerns about treatment by an employer or in a court of law, we ask God to bring about a fair and a just answer for us. I am not all that convinced, however, that justice is actually what I want to receive on most of these occasions. Justice means that I will get exactly what I deserve. When it is God’s justice that I am seeking, what I deserve is not something that I would probably find to be very pleasant. You see, this is a characteristic that derives from the very core of who God is, and it helps to define the active and operative qualities of righteousness. On a day in and day out basis Godly righteousness is a very high standard for me to meet.

 

Yet, Christ calls to me and to everyone to follow Him. He wants us to walk in the same steps that He takes and to react to our world in the same way that He has reacted to it from its creation. He also assures me that there is nothing that He will ask of me or anyplace that He will take me that He does not equip me to handle and where He will not walk with me. As I seek to know Christ deeply, His character becomes more fully my own. When I choose to follow where He is leading, I walk along an adventurous path of discovery that takes me continually further into freedom from the oppression of sin in my life, and this path is also one along which Christ reveals the need for justice in the lives of others in this world.

 

If I am to follow justice alone, that means that I am committing to focus all of my attention on Christ. It means that I am willing to actively work to see to it that righteousness and fairness are applied to all people and to each situation that I encounter. I must desire to live in a manner that demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice my own comfort, gain, and security for the sake of the just treatment of others. It also means that I need to be open and vulnerable before Christ and His community so that my naturally self-centered sinfulness will not pervert my own interpretation of justice. Following justice is a life-long pursuit. However, the pursuit of justice is an essential part of walking through this life in the center of Christ’s will.

 

 

Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 16: 20

 

Certainly we all want and seek after justice. Why would it be any other way? Justice is what makes this world seem fair, and it is what allows us to trust in our social systems. Yet, what passes for justice in our culture is often perverted, held back, or completely absent from the scene. Considering that Moses is warning the nation ofIsraelabout God’s concerns regarding their application of justice, it would seem that the problem of actually living as a just society is not such a modern issue. The desire to receive just treatment is fundamental to human endeavor. Likewise, our reluctance to grant it to others runs deeply in our fallen hearts.

 

Justice is the last thing that Satan wants for us to honestly embrace. He is served by people who hold a distorted and a perverted view of what it means to live justly. God’s view of justice involves a system where our treatment of others can not be bought or sold. There should be no price that can be paid in order to receive proper treatment from people that have position, power, and authority. Also, there are no people who are so empowered and authorized who will change their ruling or alter their perspective based upon another’s ability or willingness to pay. Justice, as God views it, requires us to be willing to do all that is in our power to see to it that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and in a manner that seeks to build up both the individual and the society.

 

The application of justice involves sacrifice. We need to be willing to give away opportunities to gain status and power in order to treat others in this manner. Living in a just land is often a dirty and a messy business. The people that we need to engage with in order to bring it about are quite often the poor, the disadvantaged, and the lost. They can be people who are easy to pass by, and frequently they are the ones that we desire with all of our hearts to ignore in the hopes that they won’t speak to us. These people are the ones that the brokenness of sin has marked as easy targets. These are the members of society that Jesus walked up to and embraced with the warmth and the compassion of the Father. These people are you and I in any number of possible circumstances. These disadvantaged and damaged souls are equally made in God’s image. They are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters.