Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Virtue of Justice

Today as promised, we will explore the virtue of Justice.

We often think of justice only as the verdict determined in a court of law. If you search the scriptures, you will see that God is concerned and attributes justice to the individual also.

We will learn today that justice concerns the individual and a virtue that would be of value to instill in our own lives. It is the description of acting justly with others that we need to concern ourselves with. Almost every issue we would consider as ethical comes under the notion of justice. So if we are to be ethical in our actions, we must begin to act justly with those around us.

As an individual, to have justice, we must moderate between selfishness and selflessness. We must render each and all what is due to them.

First, let’s look at the definition of both justice and just:

Justice - the quality of being righteous, rectitude, impartiality, fairness. The quality of being right or correct

Just - right or fair, equitable, impartial (a just decision), righteous, upright (a just man)

Genesis 6:9 - This is the genealogy of Noah, Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Matthew 1:19 - Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

In these two scriptures, we see two men considered great by God described as just men. Noah walked with God and was perfect in his generations. Joseph when he found out Mary was with child was described as just and did not want to make a public example of her. Obviously, from the description here, being just in your actions is something God would attribute as being good.

So what else does the good book have to say about this virtue? How do we apply it to our lives?

Hosea 12:6 - So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually.

Proverbs 4:18 - But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Proverbs 11:1 - Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.

Proverbs 20:15 - It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

Isaiah 26:7 - The way of the just is uprightness, O Most Upright, you weigh the path of the just.

Habakkuk 2:4 - Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.

Psalm 37:16 - He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

We are told that we are to observe both mercy and justice and wait on the Lord continually. Therefore, these two are greatly intertwined. When we take the path of just living we are like the shining sun and a delight. Verses dishonesty which is an abomination to God. It shows us that taking this path will bring us joy unlike those who do iniquity who reap destruction.

Our way will be upright and our path weighed by God. The just is also compared to the proud, the just being connected with living by faith and the proud shown as a soul that is not upright. Justice is spoken of as a light like the noonday which would show clearly the path connected to righteousness.

God himself is written about in the scriptures as being just. In Zechariah 9:9 it says He is just and having salvation. 1 John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The God we serve has all good virtues in Him. He is fully just in all circumstances and with all individuals. He is righteous, upright, fair and right in all things. We can rest in the assurance that all things He does are fair and good toward all mankind. But as we see in Zechariah 9:9 and 1 John 1:9, we have a responsibility also. We must accept the gift of salvation that was offered through Jesus Christ, confess our sin and turn from it. In that we then receive the mercy of God.

Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah tells us that God has shown us the way to go and what is good for us. To accept His son as Lord and master. The Lord requires from us to do justly in our actions, to love mercy and walk humbly abiding in the Spirit with our God.

So as a recap, we can apply justice to our life by:

*Being honest and turning away from things that are deceitful
*Showing mercy and kindness to others
*Living a life of faith through the Spirit
*Walking humbly with God and avoiding prideful living
*Dealing with others in an upright and fair manner
*Avoiding wicked things that lead to temptation of sin

Come back tomorrow.... We will talk about the virtue of Restraint or Temperance.

See you then!


richies said...

I find it interesting that we want justice when we have been wronged, but are not so keen on justice when we have wronged someone else.

An Arkies Musings

TawanaB said...

I love that you are giving God the lead and it shows. Great blog.

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks! God is so great! He gives us such great gifts. I am so grateful to be used in whatever why he may choose to use me.

God Bless!