by Dan O’Deens
On the brink of another Martin Luther King, Jr. day I think it is appropriate to highlight the importance of JUSTICE.
In the words of Lecrae, “I pray we don’t celebrate MLK and ignore the legacy of equality and injustice he was fighting for.”
Biblical justice is about making the individual, community and even world accountable to goodness and impartiality. It is restoring the world back to the way God created it. James 1:27 says, “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
How we view people matters. Do we first see people as sinners or made in the image and likeness of Jesus? How you answer that question might determine your biblical world view related to justice. Jesus said, we must take the log out of our own eye before casting judgement on the one who has some dust in theirs. Jesus is ‘not’ colored blind. He knows full well that there are blacks and white….and others. His creative design and artistic touch expresses His impartiality.
We personally want grace when we ‘accidentally’ violate someone else or even God and we want ‘justice’ when others violate another human being or God. At our core we are sinners and therefore selfish. To be like Jesus, we must die to self and our own agendas. We must love God and love our neighbor as we do ourselves.
James is clear. In the end…the bottom line…is this: If we adhere to ‘private purity’ and act out our faith with ‘public charity’ our integrity then gives us the platform necessary for true JUSTICE.
It is unsettling that the Christian worldview is seen by ‘outsiders’ as corrosive, divisive and tainted with ‘injustice.’ Jesus embodies the wholeness of Justice. He is full of Grace and Truth. His gift of salvation is for all…no discrimination.
Micah 6:8 tell us what God requires. If we are Christ followers and practitioners then we will act justly and love mercy and we will walk humbly with our God.
Isaiah 30:18-19 speaks to the heart of the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day! “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
My prayer is that we, the people of God will take hold of the hardest words in all of Scripture. Isaiah 1:16,17, says, “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
Together on this special day may we raise a glass and drink wildly of God’s Justice! #stopdoingwrong