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Say Amen to Justice

Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Deuteronomy 27:19

Watch Week Six Day Four

Deuteronomy 27:19 says, “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”

Justice and care for the vulnerable is a biblical value—not just a social issue, not an issue associated with a particular political party. Justice is close to God’s heart and beyond a single mode of governance. Justice, therefore, is a value to God’s people because it is a prominent and unchanging value to God. In the Old Testament, God exhorted the Israelites to remember that they were slaves in the land of Egypt (Exodus 13:13; Deuteronomy 5:15, 24:18) so they would never forget the God who set them free, or the experience of being owned. The corporate memory of life in Egypt would enhance and deepen their grateful worship to their miracle-working God and cultivate an empathetic sense of compassion for those around them under the yoke of oppression. In the New Testament, Jesus reminded His disciples to follow His lead in reconciling the lost to Himself (Luke 19:10) through the sacrificial message of the gospel (John 7:12–17). Read the Gospels and you’ll find that healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and providing for those with needs went hand in hand with the spread of the gospel.

The kingdom of God coming to earth, God’s good news for all people (Luke 2:10–11), is that Jesus saves. He saves not just our souls, but also our bodies, from death and hell (Matthew 10:28). He redeems not just our spiritual state, but also our physical environment (Revelation 21:1).

Part of the Lord’s prayer says: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Justice and mercy is God’s will (Micah 6:8). Facilitating justice and sheltering the vulnerable from exploitation in your communities, churches, and municipalities causes the justice of heaven to touch the earth.

Meditate on these words from Isaiah 58:6–12:

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. (NIV)

Jesus’ earthly ministry demonstrated the will of God and personified the foretelling of the prophets. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, to bind up the wounds of the broken, to fill the hungry with good things, and to be a bridge of salvation and reconciliation to God—this is good news, indeed. When we follow Jesus, our feet are swift to pursue the lost. May God’s kingdom come. May His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

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