Honesty and Justice
Open Your Bible
Exodus 22:1-31, Exodus 23:1-19, Proverbs 31:8-9, 1 Corinthians 10:24
There is a sense in all of us that society can be better than it is. We were designed for a perfect world—relationships that would flourish in the safety of God’s protection—so it’s no surprise that our fall from Eden has left us wondering: Where is your mercy, God? What are you doing to bring justice to the evils we see? And what can I do to help?
In Exodus 22–23, God’s people have been saved out of slavery in Egypt and given a prescription for what life looks like together. Where there is abuse and people being taken advantage of, God expects His people to deliver kindness and protection. When someone costs others something, God calls them to make restitution. Where people benefit from falsehood, God demands the truth to be upheld. God says, “Be my holy people” (Exodus 22:31) because He is initiating a plan for a pattern of restoration for all of life.
Where God’s laws began, Christ fulfills them (Matthew 5:17). Thus, through Jesus’s saving power, He calls us to continue our participation in restoring the lives and structures around us. In Matthew 22, the Pharisees approach Jesus and ask Him “which command in the law is the greatest?” And Jesus tells them to love the Lord and to love their neighbor. “All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands” (v.40). And I think that is what God is asking us to do today, to love Him and to love others.
When we are near God’s heart, we can see the value of people who are made in the image of God and uphold human dignity. We can walk in wisdom as Proverbs 31:9 tells us to “speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.” God is using you and me, as believers, to reorder the injustices of today in a variety of ways.
Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” May we all do our best to do what is good—defend justice and uphold honesty in every situation. This obedience is how we can participate in God’s holiness and it can take on so many forms as God calls us to protect the diminished voices in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, court systems, churches, and areas of influence.
God is engaged in the brokenness of our world, and may we feel encouraged that He calls and equips us to walk with Him in His plan to redeem it.