May 05, 2024

God is Just

Isaiah 1:2-4, 13-23

“Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. . . .”

—  Isaiah 1:16-17

Justice is an important attribute of God. Justice lies at the heart of God’s character. Because God is just, justice is a hallmark of his kingdom.

In the Old Testament, God’s people Israel were meant to serve as a physical, earthly representation of God’s kingdom that would one day fill the whole earth. As a result, we find countless calls for Israel to be a just nation because God is just. Judges were to rule impartially. Neighbors were to treat each other justly. Foreigners were to be treated justly and fairly always (Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 24:17-18).

But Israel failed again and again to exercise justice. That brought God’s discipline on them, and he sent them into exile. However, leading up to and during their exile, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to urge the people to change their ways. Isaiah also delivered songs of hope and praise describing what the kingdom would look like if the children of God would truly embrace justice in the land. (See Isaiah 2:1-5; 4:2-6; 9:2-7; 11:1-12:6.)

The God of the kingdom of heaven is the same God who led Old Testament Israel. His name remains synonymous with justice. And as citizens of God’s kingdom, we too are called not only to act justly but also to love justice.

We bow before you, Lord and King, to praise you for your justice. Empower us by your Spirit to truly love justice and to live by doing justice in this world. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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