Justice is a concept close to God’s heart and to the hearts of God’s people.
It’s a topic that’s brought up—directly and indirectly—throughout Scripture, and even a casual glance at God’s Word shows entire books or narrative arcs in which justice figures as a major theme. Think of David’s keenness for justice. Think of the powerful division between just and unjust in Psalm 82.
Some of the most concentrated usages of the word justice appear in the writings of Isaiah and in the book of Job—two Old Testament books in which God’s people are shown crying out for the justice of their sovereign Lord:
But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts. (Isaiah 5:16)
If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him? (Job 9:19)
In other instances, the administration of justice is something clearly meant for humans to work out. Isaiah succinctly defines justice at the beginning of his writings:
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)
There’s no doubt that justice is what we, as humans, have, throughout the ages, longed for, fought for, cried out to God for. As Christians, we believe only God can provide true justice, that he one day will, and that our task on earth is to wait and to do our utmost to emulate the example provided through Jesus Christ.
This is a never-ending task, an uphill battle, even; but a love for justice can first be cultivated by learning about it and talking about, especially as it’s seen in Scripture.
We’ve teamed with International Justice Mission (IJM) to bring you a devotional centered on deepening understanding and appreciation of God’s heart for justice.
IJM is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 13 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power against people who are poor. Put simply, their goal is to fulfill the demand made in Isaiah 1:17.
IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems. Learn more about what they’re doing at IJM.org. And read some of their dramatic stories by signing up to receive the 7-day free email devotional, Encountering the God of Justice.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Over 40 million people are enslaved around the world. Visit ijm.org/slavery to learn more, and click here to sign up to receive this free 7-day series, Encountering the God of Justice.