I recently watched the documentary “Free Burma Rangers”. It is the story of a man training every day people to fight for the ethnic minorities who are oppressed in Burma. They get medical supplies to those who need them and treat the wounded. At one point, he was asked to deliver medical supplies to Mosul, Iraq. At the time, it was controlled by Isis. As he tried to help people, the Iraqi army was working to free Mosul. After freeing a family and giving them supplies, the got on a tractor to head for family. It wasn’t 10 minutes after they were freed that they hit a land mine left by Isis. The main guy was angry and told the camera all he could think about was killing Isis at that point. Then God spoke to him and reminded him that vengeance belongs to the Lord and he needed to keep working for justice.
He said, “I realized in that moment that vengeance and justice look the same and often have the similar outcomes, but justice is done out of love while vengeance is done out of anger.” It’s no wonder that God is a just God and wants us on the side of justice. We are to be known for our love, but also for being on the side of justice. The two are designed to work together because love and justice together bring correction. God does not leave us in our sin. Instead, He lovingly corrects and disciplines us in order to get us where we need to be. He corrects the wrongs in our lives and works through us to correct the wrongs in this world because of love.
Here are some Bible verses on justice.
1. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Isaiah 1:17 NLT
2. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.
Amos 5:24 NLT
3. Justice never makes sense to men devoted to darkness, but those tenderly devoted to the Lord can understand justice perfectly.
Proverbs 28:5 TPT
4. You are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out of their rights!
Amos 5:7 GNT
5. He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?
Part of my personality type is that I do really well with a to-do list. If I don’t have one, I tend to live my life jumping from one squeaky wheel to the next. The problem with that is that I can find myself living crisis to crisis, but never do the day to day things that need to get done. Another problem on the other side of the coin is that I can reduce Christianity and my faith to a series of to-do lists. Read my Bible daily – check. Spend time in prayer – check. Give my tithe – check. It can easily become very sterile or even about my works when I do that. So when I read Micah 6:8, in my head, I create a check list of things to do so that i make sure I’m doing what God requires of me.
That verse says, “No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God” (GNT). If we dig deeper than the surface on these, they are more than things you can easily check off of a box. These are a way of living that flows out of a forgiven heart. I can’t just give justice according to man’s laws and ways. We must treat people and protect them according to God’s ways. To show constant love to others is nearly impossible in my own strength and selfishness. It flows out of a heart that has been shown what true love is from the One who is love itself.
All three of these really hinge on the last one. We must walk in humble fellowship with God if we are going to live out the other two correctly. Fellowship with God cannot be checked off a box as a duty. We’ve all had people in our lives that we were forced to be friends with. Love doesn’t grow in that type of relationship. When we learn to make our relationship with God less about us and our needs and focus on Him, we’ll have that fellowship that heals our brokenness instead of feeding it. These three things that God requires are not about us (which should remove the to-do list). They are about others and their needs. When we begin to live life for Him, it becomes less about us and more about seeking justice for others and showing the love and compassion He has for the world. Look around today and see the people He’s placed around you that need justice and love. Ask Him to use you to in their lives and to help you put down the to-do list.