Last Sunday, I spoke about how the gospel shapes us for justice and mercy. I am aware that in certain religions circles “justice” is a loaded term, thought to be something only for liberals and hippies. However, “justice” is a biblical word. In fact, it is in every part of the Bible. Whether you’re in the Law, Psalms, Proverbs, Prophets, Gospels, or Epistles, it is there.
In my Sunday sermon, we looked primarily at Isaiah 58:5-10. But here is a quick rundown of some other biblical references to justice.
Exodus 23:2, “Do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd..”
Exodus 23:5-7, “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.”
Leviticus 19:15, ‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”
Deuteronomy 16:20, “Follow justice and justice alone…”
Deuteronomy 24:17, “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice..”
Deuteronomy 27:19, “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.”
Psalm 140:12, “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”
Proverbs 29:7, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
Isaiah 1:17, “…learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 10:1-3, “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people…
Hosea 12:5, “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”
Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”
Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, 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.”
Zechariah 7:8-10, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.”
Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
Not only do we get a sense of how important justice is to God by the frequency by which the concept appears, but we also get a sense of how passionate God is for justice by looking at the language, the force of the language that He uses when He talks about it.
Justice matters to God!