Justice (part 2)

So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. Habakkuk 1:4

What does justice look like? Please read and/or listen to Amos 5:21-24 today. As one of the earlier of the twelve minor prophets, Amos spoke during a time of affluence in both kingdoms, as Israel had not yet been defeated by the Assyrians. At the time in which he wrote, the rich were getting very rich by the exploitation of the poor. Prosperity brought a significant rise in idolatry in the northern kingdom under Jeroboam II. It was in this setting that people brought false worship to God. God declares that he hates their offerings and sacrifices. Instead, hearts that are pure toward him will have a desire to see justice roll on continually like a river. The justice that is spoken of here is the same as that which we looked at yesterday in Leviticus 19:15. It is not to show partiality or favoritism. Biblical justice should not be confused with social justice. Biblical justice does not seek absolute equality for each person. Rather it seeks to eliminate the constructs that keep a person from thriving in community. There will be different levels of that thriving, but when one thrives excessively by exploiting others, that is injustice, which must be eliminated. In biblical community, each person is cared for in a way that allows them to thrive in their place in community. In many ways, it is more about attitude than anything. How do you view the oppressed? A heart given over to the Lord will not allow for one person to be raised up at the expense of another.