Micah 6:8 NKJV
Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV
Deuteronomy 32:4 The Message
Exodus 34:5-7 NKJV
Amos 5:21-24 NKJV
Matthew 7:12 NKJV
Galatians 6:7 ESV
Isaiah 30:18 ESV
(Deuteronomy 6:5 and John 13:34)
In the past, I’ve read a lot about the justice of God because I wanted to know exactly what it meant in terms of scripture. At one point in my life I memorized Micah 6:8 and I found great comfort in repeating it to myself. The prophet wrote, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
I believe that if God requires that we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly those qualities will come from God. In Deuteronomy 32:4 we learn, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
The Message version of the same passage from Deuteronomy 32:4, says: “Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you. Attention, Earth, I’ve got a mouth full of words. My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain, my words arrive like morning dew, Like a sprinkling rain on new grass, like spring showers on the garden. For it’s God’s Name I’m preaching— respond to the greatness of our God! The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; a God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God. His messed-up, mixed-up children, his non-children, throw mud at him but none of it sticks.”
When we look at the definition and meaning of God’s justice we find, “Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice is one of God’s attributes and flows out of His holiness.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/God-of-justice.html)
God is holy and set apart and we might expect God’s justice to be swift and certain, but I’ve found that God’s justice is complex and tailor-made for every situation. It’s not always instant. I’ve witnessed believers who openly defy God and it seems like they are not held accountable for it. When that happens I am reminded that everything comes in God’s time and I am not judge and jury.
Therefore, while God is just, God is also patient. In Exodus 34:5-7 when God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai we learn, “Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
God is patient.
God is just.
Only God knows the whole story of a man. Only God is holy.
According to the prophet Amos, what God truly desires from His children is authenticity.
The prophet Amos wrote in Amos 5:21-24:
“I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
Our worship is an offering to God but it does not touch God the same way justice touches God. I think Amos is saying God wants our faith to be actionable and loving toward others. Being just toward others (especially when great injustice exists) moves God.
Matthew put it this way in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
If you want others to give you justice, offer them justice.
In Galatians 6:7, the Apostle Paul tells us, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
If you sow justice in the Spirit, you will reap eternal life.
God offers us justice and mercy when we turn to Him. Even though men may fail us, men may trample on us, men may let us down, God will lift us up. Isaiah 30:18 says “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
God is just, and our justice matters to God. That’s because we are called to love God (Deuteronomy 6:5) and to love others (John 13:34).
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Give Justice
Ask God what it would look like for you to offer justice to another person. When you have the opportunity, sow justice in the Spirit.
In God, Deborah