Righteous & Just: It Isn’t Only What You Stand Up For, But Who

Grateful to have this article in InTouch magazine this month on God's justice and righteousness. You can read the whole article here. Realized I forgot to post it recently, so rectifying that now. :)


The word righteous has fallen on hard times. When we hear it today, we tend to think of “self-righteous”—a do-gooder looking condescendingly down her nose at all the filthy sinners. When I was a kid, we also used the word for something really inspiring, as in “Whoa, dude! That skateboarding move was totally righteous!” But neither of these meanings is what Scripture has in mind.

To be righteous is to live justly and seek justice. The Old Testament word translated “righteous” is tzedakah, a close parallel with another Hebrew term—mishpat, meaning“ justice.” In fact, “righteousness and justice” are paired throughout the Bible. God makes Solomon king “to maintain justice and righteousness” (1 Kings 10:9 NIV); Job says, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban” (Job 29:14); and the psalmist says he hopes the king will “judge [God’s] people with righteousness, and [His] afflicted with justice” (Ps. 72:2). Righteousness and justice are born twins in the Bible; it’s a shame we separate them at birth.

Why should we seek justice? Because it’s grounded in the very character of God…

Read the rest of the article here

Author: "The Skeletons in God's Closet." Pastor: Imago Dei Community. Husband, Father, Foster Parent.

1 Comment

  • Reply July 29, 2015

    Jim Moore

    “God stands against injustice because He identifies in love with those who are harmed. His love is more than a comfort; it is a confrontation.”

    I really appreciate these words. They are pretty common in the social justice community that is encouraging Jesus Followers to seek justice as natural part of our discipleship. But over the last decade or so I’ve been thinking there’s another side to this transaction. God isn’t merely seeking justice because he has picked the weak over the strong.

    He sees this process as the only way we can experience him experiencing us. From his perspective there is no strong. We are all weak to him. But when we stand for someone who can give us nothing, when we speak for someone without a voice, when we provide for someone who can never repay us and who may even misuse our gift, we understand how he feels in his relationship to us. We come to know him better.

    God sees our relationships with these people as creating experiential instances of the gospel in our minds. It is the building blocks of sanctification. I’m just dashing this off before I run to a meeting so I’m sorry if I’m not being clear.

    But I think God is more elegant and efficient than merely choosing who he likes and who he doesn’t like. I think he’s trying to teach us something about how he feels towards us.

    My biggest hesitation on this idea is that I’m making seeking justice all about me. But I do think God is working on me and not merely using me a tool to work on some societal ill. What do you think?

    Thanks, love your church from afar by the way… Jim

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