Bible Reading Blog
“Let Justice Roll Down”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Amos 5
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5.24)
A primary complaint from the prophets was the lack of justice. The rich oppressed the poor. The widow and fatherless had no advocate. Those in authority corrupted what was right. And nobody was doing anything about it. For their injustice to one another, God would bring judgment (Amos 4.1-2).
We need to understand how motivated God is by injustice. It is the primary reason Amos offers for God’s judgment on the nations (Amos 1-2). Jesus echoes the OT prophets when he calls out the Pharisees for neglecting “justice and the love of God” (Luke 11.42). Justice holds a central place throughout his teaching and ministry. For Jesus, a lack of concern for the marginalized is not a minor oversight but reveals that a person is at odds with God. This is illustrated in the parable of the sheep and goats where the true sheep are those who have a heart for the hungry, the stranger, the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned (Matthew 25.35-36).
Many social and political movements operate under the guise of justice while promoting an agenda. But true justice is motivated by righteousness and concern for others. That’s because justice is rooted in the character of God. He is a God who loves and gives (John 3.16); who seeks and serves. Justice comes from a just God who could not overlook sin, but also would not allow us remain in our helpless state (Romans 3.10-27).
Christians cannot be ambivalent to the need for justice, for it is the reason Christ died for my sins (Romans 5.8). Therefore, how we “do justice” (Micah 6.8) is a direct reflection of how we view God’s mercy and grace towards us. As we look at our world, we must be people motivated to do justice: to help the helpless, defend the weak and provide for those in need. Not for the sake of creating societal equality – that is never the point of justice! – but to show the same concern God shows for all humanity. Let justice roll down through your life!
There will always be those who are helpless and marginalized. And while we seek to serve them, we must always point them to the justice we all receive from Jesus. In him, God is not only “just but the justifier of those who have faith in Christ” (Romans 3.26-27). In what small ways we can, let us honor him by seeking to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6.8).
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely” (Proverbs 28.5)
…learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1.17)