Thinking about Justice – Day 4.2

When it comes to modifiers for the word justice, I hear a lot more people both inside and outside of the church talk about getting justice rather than doing justice.  The idea of getting justice is usually coupled with the idea of people getting what they deserve or getting even. I don’t think that’s what the Bible is usually talking about when it talks about doing justice.

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (© 1986) says the following about the Biblical concept of justice …  “The practice of what is right and just. Justice (or “judgment,” KJV) specifies what is right, not only as measured by a code of law, but also by what makes for right relationships as well as harmony and peace.”

“The English term justice has a strong legal flavor. But the concept of justice in the Bible goes beyond the law courts to everyday life. The Bible speaks of “doing justice” (Ps. 82:3; Prov 21:3), whereas we speak of “getting justice.” Doing justice is to maintain what is right or to set things right. Justice is done when honorable relations are maintained between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, government and citizens, and man and God. Justice refers to brotherliness in spirit and action.”

Isaiah 42:1 says:  “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”

In Luke 3, we see a picture of John the Baptist preparing the way for the one (Jesus) who would receive the Spirit and make Him available for those who follow Him. Jesus’ idea of justice was to offer forgiveness and restoration.  Of course, that forgiveness and restoration could always be accepted or refused.

Brandon Hatmaker looks at it from a little different perspective …




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