“But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Jeremiah 9:24 NLT
Can you be a Christian and still stand for social justice? According to the scripture above the answer is a resounding yes! Because, God demonstrates unfailing love and HE brings justice to the earth; as His children, then we most certainly can and should seek out justice for others.
What does this justice look like? For many people think of God’s justice as an angry retribution for wrong doings. they imagine He’s sitting in heaven ready to throw lightening bolts at them. The biblical Hebrew word for “justice” is mishpat and it can refer to retributive justice.
BUT, MOST OFTEN in the Bible, Mishpat refers to, RESTORATIVE justice. This is the “Right Hand of God’s Justice” meaning He’s not looking to “spank” a bad child but instead He is extending His hand in order to RESTORE.
Mishpat actually goes a step further, by seeking out vulnerable people who are being taken advantage of and helping them. Some people call this charity. But mishpat involves way more, it means taking steps to advocate for the vulnerable, and changing social structures to prevent injustice.
Recap: Humans are created in God’s image and this is the foundation for the Bible’s view on the Justice of God: Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and fairness.
Challenge: Look for ways to extend MISHPAT to others on a daily basis. RESTORING others, HELPING others, LOOKING out of other and being and ADVOCATE for those less fortunate.