[from May 13, 2010]
"Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live & occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you."
NEW LAND! New opportunities. New responsibilities. God is preparing the Israelites for their life in the promised land. God is laying out the expectations for the people - from worship to relationships. But God makes it clear ("crystal clear!") that He has one basic command when it comes to disputes among the people: JUSTICE! Pursue justice. Period.
God recognized the human tendency towards sin. Bribes were a part of life, even "back in the day." But God wants nothing to do with that. "You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes..." (v.19). God holds the people to a higher standard than the rest of society.
Justice is one of those things that most everyone believes in... at least in principle. But putting it into practice... especially when it doesn't involve us personally... well, that's a bit harder. We like to think of our "rights" as Americans... and demand what we're due. But we don't often transfer that thinking to others. We're at a time in our country where the poor economy is causing many to look more inward. "If it doesn't directly affect me, I don't care." But we should care! We should be about seeking justice for ALL - those who are in power and those who are not... those who have resources at their disposal and those who don't... those who've been here a while, and those who are new... those who can speak for themselves and those who can't.
JUSTICE... JUSTICE... JUSTICE!
Maybe I need to open my eyes a bit more and look around. How can I be about God's call to justice today?