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Social-justice. It is the hot topic, the buzzword of the day, both inside and outside of the Church. And arguments even about the use of the term range wide and hot. Certainly some use it as a loaded term to imply a particular system of thought. Though my guess is, most hear it and use it pretty generically – meaning that there ought to be justice in society. That, is a good and right and Biblical impulse. So there is no surprise that Scripture addresses it. Justice, is a Gospel issue. And in reading Proverbs 11 today, we get some much needed perspective on it.
Along with our reading in Proverbs 31-Ecclesiastes 2; Luke 14:1-11; Philemon 1-7 & Psalm 119:81-88, we have Proverbs 11. And verse one is deceptively profound. It begins a chapter with the theme of valuing – weighing things correctly. The essence of justice.
I’m Reid Ferguson, and justice is our focus today on Through the Word in 2020.
Over rating and under rating are both acts of deception. We easily over emphasize and add spin when we want things to be seen a certain way. Positively or negatively. Entire industries are built on it. Ad Agencies, Public Relations and even news outlets all want to tell their stories with their spin. Politics seems founded on it. Glorify your side, and demonize the other. No matter what. And then, more personally, fear of people and desire for being viewed a certain way can result in exaggerations and minimizations to suit the hour in our personal relations.
These false balances are an abomination to the Lord.
But we need to get to the bottom of how to understand true justice. And it begins by understanding this: Justice and even-handedness are attributes of God mankind is meant to display.
In John 10:34 where Jesus cites Ps. 82 He notes that the Law says “you are gods” in the context of Israel’s leadership having perverted justice while being the recipients of God’s Law. We are meant to be His vice-regents here. And nowhere is that more manifest than in judging right and wrong, based upon God’s own just nature communicated in the rights and wrongs He delineates. Whenever people pervert justice, we openly and graphically deny God. This is true for those apart from Christ – and especially true for those who own Him. Christians above all ought to be concerned with miscarriages of justice in our society – and even more within the Church.
Nowhere is this seen more powerfully than in the Cross. For Jesus’ crucifixion is as much a matter of justice as it is of grace. The two are married at Calvary.
When we are inequitable in our dealings with others, we violate His image drastically. But worse is when we preach a Cross which was not a place where God’s just wrath was poured out and justice satisfied. Then, we deny His just nature. And when we preach a Cross without forgiveness freely offered on the basis of it, we deny His mercy and grace too.
How cautious Christians ought to be in dealing with people justly, fairly and equitably. The Gospel is at stake. A false balance, not trading and dealing in equity with all, is an affront to who God is in His very nature. And how He delights for His children to make Him known to the world in how we deal with one another. Those who are sharp in their dealings – so that they want something for nothing – to gain unfairly over another, deny Him for our 30 pieces of silver.
Honor Christ by honoring the justice and grace of the Cross by being people of equity and a just balance.
Think on that today beloved.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.