Monday, March 4, 2013

Judging with justice...

In 2 Chronicles chapter 19, King Jehoshaphat begins to implement reforms throughout Judah. He has been a fairly successful king up to this point in his life. He has made a few mistakes but he has a good heart and his heart is for God.

Towards the latter years of his reign, he appoints judges in all the fortified cities of Judah. They are to help administer justice, settle disputes and also keep pointing the people to God. He gives them the following charge,...

"Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the matter of judgment. And now, may the terror of the Lord be on you. Watch what you do, for there is no injustice or partiality or taking bribes with the Lord our God."

Yesterday, in our small group study, we focused on the Proverbs where Solomon declares that the fear (or terror) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

We live in a culture and a generation that is passionate about justice. However, we still seem to see so little of it. We look at our current government and while we respect and pray for our leaders, we shake our heads at the in-fighting and inability to even make seemingly simple decisions. Most of us who are followers of Jesus see signs of deteriorating morals and consistent bad decisions and wonder where all this is leading.

Here is the remedy. We need decision makers and leaders who first and foremost fear God. If there is no fear of God, there is no moral compass, no solid base from which to administer justice. We need leaders who consider what they are doing is not for man but for the Lord. How can we expect those leading us to make good, moral, God-inspired choices if they aren't under His Lordship?

I think it was Timothy Keller who said, "justice is not an equality of outcome but rather an equal treatment under a fair law." Too often our culture equates every thing and every one having to be equal as the litmus test for justice.

I think I go back to the writer of Ecclesiates and say, that in the end, what really matters is...

"...fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity."

Justice and any interpretation of it always has to begin and end in God.


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