May 24, 2017

On the Wrong Side of Justice

Malachi 3:5

I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify. . . .

—  Malachi 3:5

In Malachi 2:17 the people asked, “Where is the God of justice?” In today’s verse God answers that question: the Lord is coming, but many who are asking will be on the wrong side of justice when he arrives. For them, God’s justice will be an unwelcome surprise.

I did not grow up as wealthy, popular, or influential as some others in my culture. That didn’t always seem fair to me. But as an adult I’ve learned that the small bits of unfairness in my life are not nearly as devastating as the injustices occurring daily against others.

Things are rough everywhere. I’ve met wealthy people with severe depression; influential people with cancer; joyful people who have to find their food in other people’s trash cans; hopeful people who have lost everything to a natural ­disaster; peaceful people who have left everything to escape war or persecution; loving people suffering from broken hearts. Some issues seem much worse than others. But this section in Malachi warns us not to assume that we have it so bad.

We are all victims of injustice at some level, but we also perpetrate injustice toward others—sometimes directly but often by participating in social systems that undervalue certain people or groups. Malachi reminds us to consider the advantages and blessings we’ve received before complaining about the in­justices done to us.

Father, each of us has received the breath of life from you—and so much more. Forgive us for any way in which we’ve contributed to injustice against others. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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