Love And Justice


LORD, our Lord,

     how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Through the praise of children and infants

     you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

     to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

     the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

     which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

     human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:1-4)

How glorious a picture of creation, and the astounding place of humanity in the vast array of the created order! But what does this remarkable description have to do with the biblical concept of justice? Quite a bit, we will see.

Last week we began to explore what the Bible says about this potentially nebulous concept of “justice,” trying to expand our vision beyond merely the punishment of the wrongdoer, towards a vision of the world where things work rightly, where things are in harmony. Where people, communities and nature itself, flourish. This, we saw, is what the Bible often refers to as shalom (“peace” in many English translations).

This vision of things working rightly together begins very early in the Bible; indeed, the vision is cast for us in the very first narrative of the Bible, that of creation itself.

There is no shortage of debate on the interpretation of the first two chapters of the Bible. What if we approach these first two chapters not by looking for specific answers to contemporary scientific questions, but rather as presenting for us a template on which the rest of the biblical narrative, and in fact the narrative of all of history, will unfold?

PRAYER: Lord, please share with me the truth of Your Word. Show me Your shalom and Your justice as I spend time in Scripture.