Social justice is a buzz phrase that receives a lot of attention lately and depending on the definition used, Christians are often a target as those who do not care for or practice social justice. Part of the problem is definition, and part of the problem is the focus many Christians take in politics, and/or with their resources. I do not intend to engage in that conversation but I do want to address the path of justice which all followers of Christ should be on because we serve a God of justice.
Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
His path is justice and those who wait on God with hope find it
I traverse the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice. (Proverbs 8:20, NKJV)
The LORD is a God of justice (Deuteronomy 10:18; 32:41; Psalm 33:5; 97:2) and you would expect His path to be the road of justice. Justice means in the Hebrew properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially. The rule of law in our life is the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and we should have the same heart as our God: a heart of justice. This should mean that we live our lives in such a manner that our choices are just and right before God the Just One. The Lord will always lead us down the path of justice and we need to stay upon that path and live justly before our Lord and Savior. The person who is waiting on God seeks not his own path and lives selfishly, but seeking the heart of the Lord. The person who is developing Christian character seeks God’s path, a path of justice. Micah 6:8 tells us,
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. (NKJV)
The Scriptures also describes justice as the fair treatment of and kindness to the poor (Psalm 72:2-4; 82:3; 140:12; Proverbs 13:23; Ecclesiastes 5:8; Isaiah 10:2; 32:7; and Amos 5:12). How do you treat the poor? Consider the people who ask for spare change at gas stations or people who stand at exits to freeways with signs asking for help. Consider your church’s outreach programs to the poor of your community. Consider charities that seek to relieve the suffering in third-world countries. How do you look on these opportunities to live justly before your God? A man who is waiting recognizes that he truly is blessed, his only possessions really belong to the Lord, and that the just way to live on the path of justice is to seek the heart of God. The heart of God, as seen in our reading above, is for the poor. Who did Jesus go to minister to? The poor, the needy, sinners, and the outcasts of society are those who Jesus was sent to minister (Matthew 9:10-13; 11:5, 19; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 4:18; 5:30-32; 7:22, 34; 14:13; 15:1-2). Consider the path that we are on. If it is a path of justice we must measure our path with the Word of God. A man who is waiting on God with great hope will recognize these opportunities to live justly.
Prayerfully meditate upon the Scriptures in this lesson and ask the Father how you can live justly before Him:
Deuteronomy 10:18, Deuteronomy 32:41, Psalm 33:5, Psalm 72:2-4, Psalm 82:3, Psalm 97:2, Psalm 140:12, Proverbs 13:23, Ecclesiastes 5:8, Isaiah 10:2, Isaiah 32:7, Amos 5:12, Micah 6:8, Matthew 9:10-13, Matthew 11:5 and 19, Mark 2:15-17, Luke 4:18, Luke 5:30-32, Luke7:22 and 34, Luke 14:13, Luke 15:1-2, Galatians 6:2