A Journey of Justice

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Pastor Posts

I have had the privilege of being in seminary training for the past 2 1/2 years at Western Seminary in Portland. Over that period of time, I have been challenged by many amazing professors, authors and other students. This semester, I had the opportunity to take a class that incorporated the Justice Conference held at the Oregon Convention Center last weekend.

To say the weekend was life-changing is an understatement. Usually, when someone says the word “justice,” my mind (and I’m guessing many of yours) jumps to Jack Bauer, Rooster Cogburn and random superheroes. Next, my mind moves to the institution our government has placed in charge of exercising justice in the United States, the Justice Department. Finally, in church circles, the terms Social Justice, Social Gospel and Liberal all come to mind.

After this weekend, however, my thoughts on justice will forever be changed. What does “justice” mean? What does the Bible mean when it says justice? To say I have it figured out would be ridiculous. In fact, I may be more confused now than before this conference. What I can tell you is this: “The God of the Bible is a God of justice. Jesus’ mission included justice. The Holy Spirit moves and prompts us to live like Jesus, which includes doing justice. The biblical view of “justice” is not putting the smack down on evil people. It is much deeper and more comprehensive than that. What does God have for us to do as Christians? Listen to the Words of God in Micah 6:6-8:

With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?

Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?

Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

As I take this justice journey, I invite you to come along with me. One of my class assignments is to interact with the following passages on justice. I would love to hear your thoughts from these passages as we learn together what it means to do justice like Jesus.

Deuteronomy 10:16-22

Deuteronomy 15

Deuteronomy 27:14-26

Job 29:12-17; 31:13-28

Micah 6

Isaiah 58

Ezekiel 18:5-8

Matthew 25

1 John 4

Written by Pastor Dave

  1. Ken Spink says:

    Dave- it’s interesting that the first 6 things you list in your post have to do with true worship. Taking a quick look at your reference in Deuteronomy 10:16-22 it seems that also is relating to worship.

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