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You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:20)

As it is written in Hebrew, a literal translation of the first part of this verse would be rendered, “Justice, justice shall you follow.” The Hebrew word צדק tzedek, translated as justice (also “righteousness”), is duplicated to emphasize just how important it is to pursue what is right. In the context of judges, the phrase is expanded to mean that no one should employ unjust means in order to secure justice. In other words, in God’s eyes, the end does NOT justify the means — certainly not in every situation. More specifically, it is not right to pervert justice in order to bring about your own version of justice.

For example, it is my position that so-called social justice, as it is defined by most, actually perverts justice in order to attain its goal. People have already arrived at a conclusion about certain matters and, therefore, feel it is completely “just” to bend laws or to ignore them outright in order to bring about their version of a just world. It matters not to some of these people that the rights and privileges of others are trampled in the process. While this approach may be more in line with the Greek ideal of “harmony,” when compared to the Biblical standard, this scenario is actually injustice. You see, in Hebrew thought, justice is much different than how it is perceived in western (Greek) thought. Rather than striving to attain harmony, Biblical justice strives to attain holiness. As it is written, “God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness” (Isaiah 5:16).

True justice — justice as God defines it — is strong enough to stand on its own without the aid of injustice to secure it. In short, we don’t have to bend His rules in order to get someone to come under His authority. We are compelled, however, to pursue justice — for our sake and for the sake of those we might influence to seek the Kingdom of God. In reality, justice/righteousness is the basis and foundation of God’s authority and Kingdom. It is written, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” (Psalm 89:14). Let’s put it this way: He is not God because He is righteous and just; He is righteous and just because He is God. So then, as His people, let us strive to emulate these attributes as we strive to be a holy people.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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