Justice: Equivalent of Knowing God?
"The practice of justice is at the center of
God's purpose for human life. It is so closely related to the
worship of the living God as the only true God that no act of
worship is acceptable to him unless it is accompanied by concrete
acts of justice on the human level. Micah 6:8, which may be regarded
as a synthesis of Old Testament ethics, points in this direction:
'He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord
require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk
humbly before your God.' ...
Because God is a God of justice, in any situation
in which power is misused and the powerful take advantage of the
weak, god takes the side of the weak. In concrete terms, that means
God is for the oppressed and against the oppressor, for the
exploited and against the exploiter, for the victim and against the
victimizer. ... In summary, God's justice is a corrective, remedial,
restorative justice (Ps.9:9, 18; 103:6; 11:5-6). ...
Among the many that could be quoted from
Scripture, the passages from Jeremiah (21:12; 22:13-17) should be
sufficient to lead us to the following conclusions:
First, God demands that the power-holders practice
justice in their personal lives as well as in their exercise of
government. In no way is power given to them for their own benefit.
Second, the practice of justice is closely related
to God's special concern for the poor, represented in the Jeremiah
passages , as in may other Old Testament passages, by the alien, the
orphan, and the widow - in one word, the powerless.
Third, the knowledge of God is so closely related
to the practice of justice that the following question can be
legitimately raised: could practicing justice be equivalent to
Padilla is long term Evangelical writer and
leader for social justice from Argentina.
"God's Call to do Justice" in The Justice Project
edited by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla and Ashley Seeber, Baker
Books, 2009, 23-4,28.