Through the Word in 2020 / Feb. 22 – Social Justice

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:
Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 20:1-16; Acts 27:1-26; Psalm 44, Leviticus 18-20.
Leviticus 19 is a most extraordinary portion. It begins with God calling His people to be “holy”, because He is holy. What follows hangs in this principle. In other words, God is going to give a series of charges that demonstrate the acts of loving one another in the society of God’s people. But such charges are not random, they issue from God’s own holiness. These are predicated on His nature. They are a means of living with one another in the same attitudes which God holds toward us. It is most instructive.

In our present climate, we hear a lot about the cause of “social justice.” Defining that is a tall order. But here, God gives His people 8 principles of social justice from His point of view. They are to be ours as well.

1 / 9-10: CHARITABLENESS – God has a heart of great charity toward those who are poor. We manifest this aspect of His character when we do the same. We must see them in their distress, and make provision for them – and that, in such a way that preserves their dignity and keeps them from falling into a pattern of receiving without laboring. Thus, the fields are not to reaped entirely, and so those in need, can gather the food themselves, without disgrace, and leave knowing they’ve done the harvesting themselves and remain dignified.

2 / 11-12: HONESTY – God deals with us in truth. He desires it in our own inward parts, and it is essential in our dealings with one another. We do not steal, because our God does not. We do not deal falsely, because He does not. We do not lie to one another because He IS truth. Nor do we take any oaths by His name but what is honest and upright and true. As our God is, so are we to be.

3 / 13: INTEGRITY – Greed an​d​ laziness and lack of care for others can allow us to deal with one another in ways that are less than forthcoming and in the other’s best interest. But this is not how our God deals with us. He thinks of our welfare in His dealings with us and so we are to do the same in dealing with others. We are to be sure we do not take advantage of them. We are safe with Him, and thus others are to be sage with us.

4 / 14: COMPASSION – The deaf cannot hear such curses, nor the blind know who would put such things in their way. But because we cannot be discovered, does not mean we are not to have every compassion on those in such condition, and again, not to take even the slightest advantage of them. Man’s cruelty to man sometimes knows no bounds. But our God is not this way. His own heart sees our defects and does not use them against us. Children especially need to know God’s heart toward those who need compassion, that they too may learn to display the goodness of their God to others from an early age.

5 / 15: IMPARTIALITY – God’s people above all the people of the earth are to be vested in seeing justice done around us. And not vigilante justice. We are not to have our favorites, where justice is lessened because we like them or they can offer us some advantage. We are not to have those whom we dislike and thus let them become “examples” or bear heavier penalties without concern. We are to deal with all men the same in such matters, because this is how our God is. Those closest to Him, are no less responsible than those farthest from Him. Those farthest, are no more culpable than those near. We must show the world our God deals impartially – which is why each and everyone, needs the work of Christ at Calvary.

6 / 16: HARMLESSNESS – No one should ever fear harm at our hands. People should feel safe in that they would never suffer harm at our hands for any reason. We are not against them, but for them. They are the ones we are to bless by giving them the Gospel, and rescuing their souls from the fire.

7 / 17: NO INDIFFERENCE – Rather than resolve issues, we sometimes prefer to simply write the other off. But this not how our God deals with us. If there is anything the Cross is, it is the symbol of the very opposite of God’s indifference to we, who have made ourselves His enemies. Nothing is worse than to be meaningless in the eyes of others. Our God treats no man so, and neither can we.

8 / 18: NO VINDICTIVENESS – Justice is never a private matter. How easy it is for us to justify all sorts of actions and attitudes under the umbrella of seeing some sort of secret or “poetic” justice done. But this is not how our God loves us. And this is how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. To refuse to bear grudges or to exact our pound of flesh. To love, as He loves us – and to make that known to all.​

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