"Pursue Justice, Do Justice" by Rev. Micah James

 “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Deuteronomy 16:20 NRSV  

What is justice? It is a question that has been on my mind lately as I prepare to teach a Bible Study on the topic. I grew up hearing this scripture from the book of Micah, simply because everyone thought it should be my favorite due, of course, to my name.

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 with your God?” – Micah 6:8 NRSV

We are told to pursue justice and do justice, but where do we learn the definition of justice. In Advent, preparing for Christ’s birth, we read from Isaiah 40, but we stop at verse 11. But if you keep reading that chapter, you will see in the prophecy it tells us that our Messiah will also teach us about justice.

Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice? Who taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?” – Isaiah 40:14 NRSV

So to know justice is to know God, and to know God is to know justice. So then, if you know justice, can you deny justice? Justice is long and hard work. It is a work that has been with us since the beginning of time – fighting for the rights of others, speaking up for those who have no voice, going out in the cold to offer warmth, asking hard questions when no one else will.

"But God, through Jesus Christ, has not left us to do this work alone. Our energy and strength does not come from ourselves, but from above. For we are not capable of this work without God, but God in us is capable. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint orgrow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:28-31 NRSV

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