There are many interpretations for what that statement means today. Understanding it correctly can bring rewards and peace into our lives and world; understanding it incorrectly can lead away from true justice and cause us to fight for something that cannot be attained.
Micah 6:8 says,
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Abuse. Human-trafficking. Rape. Murder. Racism. Theft. Extortion. Slander.
All of us would agree that these things are sinful and unjust. We carry within us an innate sense of right and wrong, a conviction that oppressors should be punished and the weak protected. We long for justice.
The late Ravi Zacharias said “The reason we have 17,000 pages in our law books is because we cannot follow 10 lines on a tablet made of stone.” To say that God has already outlined justice for us would be an understatement.
Simply defined, justice means to make things right.
The question then becomes, Who defines “right”? Is it society or the culture we live in? Is there a moral law that we are responsible to know and follow?
As a follower of Jesus, the answer is simple. Our sense of justice is imparted to us by our Creator God. He is loving, kind, and merciful but He is also righteous, holy, and just. God is just and it is part of His character, which means He is always just. For Him to be unjust would be against who He is, which is impossible.
Jesus makes clear that He is our standard of righteous. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, died a sacrificial death and rose again to make right that which was wrong. It is because of Jesus and His work on the Cross that we can be justified and made right with God. And Jesus also demonstrates a beautiful example for us to follow in the New Testament as one who cared for the outcast and reached out with compassion to help those most often overlooked. Jesus and justice go hand in hand.
Multiple times he stood against injustice, in such a strong way that he got in trouble by the religious elite for doing so.
As we look at the life of Jesus and the mandate given throughout Scripture, it is clear that we are called to act justly. We are called to take action and confront evil, to care for the vulnerable and to make right that which is wrong. This mandate is not new. It is not a cultural fad or something that is simply a trend in today’s society. Throughout the Old and New Testament, the call to do justice is clear.
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute,” (Psalm 82:3).“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17).
Mankind are all image bearers of our Creator, and those who know the truth of Jesus and the power of His resurrection who are meant to be a light to the world and provide a picture of who Jesus is. We should stand for justice in our world.
Why? So that people will see our works and our hearts and they will be pointed to God, the Creator and lover of all.
We do it so people can see and hear the gospel at work in our lives!
One day there will be perfect justice, carried out by a perfectly holy and just God. In the meantime, evil is pervasive throughout our world. Children are sold into sex slavery. The poor are beaten and forced to work without pay. Human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, continues in every country, city, and community.
These things must be stood against, but the reality is, the only thing that can truly end injustice is the power of salvation through Jesus Christ.
What can you and I do to develop this mindset and be prepared to stand for what is right? Here is a few that come to my mind and help keep me focused on what I need to focus on…
Make Prayer our Foundation
The Bible teaches us that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. PEOPLE are NOT my enemy! They are not YOUR enemy! We are standing against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We had better be in serious prayer about how and when we engage in this spiritual battle.
Walk in Wisdom
He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Proverbs 24:24-25
It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. Proverbs 21:15
It is the wisdom of God, that we can learn from Scripture, that will allow us to see clearly and be able to discern what we see so we can establish justice and stand against injustice.
Go against the flow
Sometimes we have to set aside what we are most comfortable with to see the truths that we may be blind to. Even within the church we can just get caught up in flow of the culture, and sometime we need to swim against the current
Jeremiah said this of King Josiah, “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord.”
Josiah was a good king, and if you look at the actions of the kings of Judah, you know that there weren’t many good ones.
He operated and behaved in a way that went against other kings and against the normal culture at that time. He is remembered for it.
I want to be remembered as a believer in Jesus who stood for justice, who loved righteousness, not so people will remember me, but so people will be pointed to our God.