Deuteronomy 16:18-22 – Justice for All

Read Deuteronomy 16:18-22

What is justice? Having worked for lawyers most of my life, I was surrounded by justice, or at least seeking it for our clients. The opposite  is “injustice” or an abuse of power. I have seen plenty of examples of injustice during my years in the legal field. There are also many examples in our world. When we see unfairness in wages, for example, you might say there is an abuse of power at work; and it’s an injustice.

To have justice then, we need to balance the power. God intends good for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” It isn’t in God’s plan for us to suffer, be in want, feel unloved, be abused, be poor, be alone, etc. When someone swoops in and steals our joy or abuses their power to hurt us, that is injustice. To God, that is sinful.

Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, “Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.” Moses’ words to the people in today’s text are on purpose to give the people a solution so that fairness will rule. Judges are to be appointed to keep things fair. Moses had been doing that for the people, but it would now be their turn to care for themselves. “Let true justice prevail.”

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives, our own struggles that we fail to see the injustice around us. You might think that is a good thing. It’s easy to become desensitized or unaware of the brokenness in our world. I’m guilty. I often avoid the news because reading about what’s happening outside of my circle is just too far removed, not to mention often painful. I’ve got enough to worry about right here.

But if we can’t see it, we can’t be part of the change or move toward justice. If we let our hearts be calloused to the things that break God’s heart, are we guilty by simply allowing the injustice? What about the refugee crisis in our world, those recovering from natural disasters, abortions of the helpless, the persecution of Christians? Do we just stand by? We can all play a role in this. We don’t have to be appointed judges to make a difference.

The words of Micah 6:8 are powerful here. “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Take some time to ask God today how you can make a difference to bring some justice to this world.

Let’s pray … Lord, there is a crisis going on in the world as you know. Many are dealing with an abuse of power that is keeping them from getting the care they need. Lord, help me to know how I can help make a difference to those struggling right now. Give me the peace to accept my own limitations during this time. Use me to bring hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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