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Lightfoot Rec Center, 10901 N 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL
- Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
- Sunday Prayer: 6:00 PM
God cares about justice, and he is not playing around. And because God cares about justice, we better care about justice too.
You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:21-24)
God cares about justice because he cares about sojourners, widows, orphans, and anyone vulnerable to oppression. He made them in His image after all, which is why his righteous indignation burns hot against mistreating them. And that is also why ours should too. Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15) And by the way, the vulnerable can include the educated business class, like when the communists murdered as many as two million of them in the Cultural Revolution in China. The unjust scales can be weighted in different directions, depending on who has their thumb on them. But make no mistake, the God who created man in his image has his ear open to the cry of vulnerable.
This is why we better be sure that the justice we are preaching is actual justice, and not just something pedaled by the old ear-ticklers and opportunists. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. (Psalm 89:14) It is his throne that is founded on justice and righteousness. He is sitting on it and no one else is. That includes you. That includes me. That includes the thought police who are multiplying faster than the stomach virus in November in the Kindergarten class. God alone tells us what justice is, and if you redefine it, watch out because you will find yourself on the wrong end of Exodus 22:21-24 (see above).
So how do we know what justice is? Everyone has an innate sense of it, but corrupt and fallen human beings continually go wrong. Here is where we have to start.
Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely. Proverbs 28:5
We have to seek the Lord. Seeking the Lord, by the way, is another way of talking about true conversion to Christianity. Only those who are spiritually alive, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and enabled to understand his word (1 Cor 2:14), can understand justice. If you don’t like that principle, let me remind you that God is the one who says it, and once again, he is on the throne, not you.
“But what about all the non-Christian figures of history who have fought tyrants, freed slaves, overthrown corruption, and more? Did they not understand justice?” Exactly. They did not. They have some residual knowledge of justice by virtue of being created in God’s image, but they don’t actually know justice. No more than a deaf person knows Swing Dance or a Waltz. He may be able to go through the steps from watching others do it, but if you can’t hear the music, you do not understand it. On the other hand even a novice who has working ears to hear the music understands it. He may not be too good at dancing, but he understands it. He may need to be discipled and work out his inconsistencies, but he understands it. He may have areas in which he needs to repent, but his heart gets it. The one who seeks the Lord understand justice because he can hear the music that is the Lord himself.
Isaiah 5:16 But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
If you are in rebellion against the one who is exalted in justice, you are actively working to suppress the knowledge of justice. If you are denying him, you are denying his throne and everything about it. You may pick and choose pieces of his justice that fit into your imaginary kingdom where you sit on your pretend throne, but it is a cheap counterfeit; a fake, a fraud, phony-baloney. Your justice does not pass the divine bar. Evil men do not understand justice…
If you are “woke,” you need to wake up. Because today’s so-called social justice rises from a godless culture. And behind that godless culture are godless philosophers. And behind all of those spiritually deaf, God-suppressing, justice-denying forces is the power of darkness that would love to pull God down from his throne and be done with actual justice forever. And while this is all a total failure in the long run, it has succeeded in multiplying actual injustice to no end. Being “woke” to this music is actually participating in suppressing the knowledge of God’s righteous judgment. All that I have said in this paragraph will take some fleshing out, so more to come later.
Suffice it to say for this post, if you actually want justice for the poor, the fatherless, the widow, the sojourner, and every person made in God’s image, you have to start with knowing God. If you actually want to make a difference in this world for righteousness, freedom, liberation, and breaking the fangs of oppressors, you need to understand divine justice. The man-made brews that have besotted the culture and with which the church now has a bleary-eyed buzz will bring injustice and worse.
Understanding justice means seeking the Lord. And you cannot seek the Lord without knowing his word. That is the only foundation of justice in this dark world. And that is where I am headed next in these brief discussions - what the word of God has to say about justice.