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Jeremiah Calls for Justice

(Jeremiah 22:13-17, 21-23)

Lesson 7 -- fourth quarter 2002
October 13, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications

Choose justice

As Christians we must always relate to everybody with an impartial moral rightness. That means that regardless of circumstance and personal cost, we will do right to everyone. Justice rejects favoritism and bias. Justice measures its response according to unchanging principles and not according to changing situations and fluctuating whims.

Like most people, we no doubt find it easiest to choose justice for others. While there is a time and place for that, our greater responsibility is to live our own lives in a just manner. So let's consider some situations.

When I am in need. If the check-out scanner overcharges me on an item, I usually don't hesitate to point that out. But what if it rings up a super sale price . . . when the sale ended yesterday? "Wow! Given the way things have been going the last few weeks, this scanner sure helped me out! If I didn't need the money, I would point out their error." No, no! Bending the rules or exceeding the limits when it comes to taxes, laws, regulations, and codes shows similar disregard for justice. Always do what is right and godly, no matter how great the desperation and urgency of your need.

When I have plenty. I knew my visitor had neither potatoes nor beans nor flour nor rice. I also knew that his situation would have been different if he had been more wise in his money management. Another thing I knew was that I had both the means and the supplies to meet the need of his family. A choice for justice would not be, "I'm sorry you're having the problem . . . again. I would help you . . . again . . . if I weren't concerned about interfering with the lessons God is trying to teach you." No! Justice would conclude that my supplies were meant to help meet someone else's need.

When I am wronged. Years ago, a local business cost me many hundreds of dollars due to incomplete vehicle repairs. They never made good on it. Now I'm in charge of a city business directory. I believe justice would have me list them right along with other businesses, and to do so without trying to leverage that into some sort of settlement with or vengeance against them.

I challenge you to take those three examples as lights to illuminate your own opportunities to choose justice. In your relationships and responses, always make sure you choose justice. Not only will you avoid unnecessary grief, you will bring great blessing to the Just One.

"That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" (Deuteronomy 16:20).

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8).

"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight" (Proverbs 11:1).

Responding to injustice against others

Some employers and some government officials treat those beneath them with great injustice. Some laws have unjust effects while some others are unjust laws to begin with. Our duty isn't to rail and rally against such injustices but to find the opportunities to bear the burdens of the victims.

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