Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Mercy and truth go before Your face. Psalm 89:14
The Psalm says that at the foundation of God’s throne, we find righteousness and justice. They go hand in hand. A package deal! That means righteous people will do justice. But what is justice? Matthew 25 is justice. Caring for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, lonely, and enslaved is justice, and these actions are done by those who are righteous and holy. They understand their identity in Christ. They see injustice and they say, “I so desperately want those who are suffering to understand love.” They know that where there’s injustice, there is no love.
So doing justice helps you understand love. Doing justice means you find out how amazing love feels. When you do something to help someone who suffers, you’ve expressed your deepest ability to say, “I love you.” You’ve found your deepest way to share your love. All that joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and self-control – all those fruits of the Spirit – suddenly come into play. That’s when you know you’re holy and righteous. You know who you are, and you start living out of that identity.
When you don’t live out of that identity, when you take on a flesh identity, that’s when you don’t have self-control. And when you don’t have self-control, you feel like everything’s out of control and you’re lost. Or you try to control others.
That happens when you don’t trust God. You trust in God, but you don’t trust God. And scary to say, a lot of people don’t trust God. A lot of Christians don’t trust God. Think about the cares of this world! There is so much pain and suffering! It’s easy to not trust God. It’s easy to want to take control. We say, “I’m going to take control here, because I know what I want to do to feel better and be safe.”
But justice and righteousness surround His throne. Our God is a righteous God, and He doesn’t just live righteously. He takes what’s wrong and makes it right. That’s justice. When it comes to understanding God and how He moves and sees, we need to look to that. It’s how Jesus moves. It’s how the Spirit moves. The Trinity is on the same page, and the wisdom that we receive flows from righteousness and justice. Not righteousness and judgment. Not condemnation for those that don’t live in righteousness. Just taking what’s wrong, and making it right.
At times, the church has gone astray. We’ve done it out of fear. Fearful, we want to control people, using guilt and shame to do it. Then we start to judge and condemn. Instead, let’s trust God with the people we’re trying to talk to. We’re here to love, and create justice through love. That’s how we’ll live out our righteousness.
See you Monday.