Real Justice

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The Bible is living, staying relevant to each generation. There is a passage in Isaiah that cuts through rhetoric, arguments, politics, the religious talk and “Christian-ese” and gets to the heart of a critical issue. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” This is a verse for such a time as this. It seems that deep within all of us there is this “that’s not right” meter that goes off daily. We see something on the news or hear a story from our kids and say to ourselves, “this just ain’t right.” Excuse my grammar. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”

The best example of someone calling evil ”good“ is when Satan managed to fool Eve into believing that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would be a good and wise thing to do even though God had declared that it was bad to eat of this tree and against his commandment.  So, what God declared wrong, Satan declared good. God assured Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate from it and Satan said the exact opposite.

Isn’t it rather common today? Is it really wrong to fudge the numbers on your tax returns? Is it so bad to tell a white lie when benefits others? When you see an obvious need or an injustice, just turn a blind eye. Leave it to someone else.

In history, how could a whole nation turn a blind eye to the truth and call right what is wrong? Perhaps you’ve read the poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the killing group after group of people. “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Among other things, I believe God desires His love to motivate you to speak into the face of injustice. To call what is right, right and to call what is wrong, wrong. Following Jesus’ lead is radical. But it’s that love life that can and will make all the difference in this world…in your world.

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