May 5, 2019

Seek First: The Justice of the Kingdom

Seek First: The Justice of the Kingdom

In this message I talk about God’s call to us His disciples to seek justice for this who can’t speak for themselves. I also give us practical tips on how can do this both locally and globally. I talk about how we can respond locally to situations like little AJ here in Crystal Lake and globally to situations like Mozambique.

Seek First: Justice of the Kingdom
• In the NIV the word justice is used 130 times.
• The subject of justice was a major theme of the OT prophets.
• The word justice is used in Isaiah approximately 29 times.
• Justice was also a major theme for Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos.
o And mentioned in Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi.
The same holds true with Jesus: Justice was a major part of what His ministry and mission was to be about.
Matt 12:18 We see justice and nations in one verse
Matt 12:20 The essence of Jesus’ victory on the cross was to bring justice.
Matt 23:23 A major theme Jesus has in His complaints against the Pharisees is their lack of justice.
Luke 18:7 It is God’s desire to bring about justice for His people
Proverbs 31:8 The word “speak up” at the beginning in Hebrew is actually open your mouth.
• Then the word at the end “destitute” in Hebrew is really the word vanishing.
• If they can’t speak for themselves, we don’t hear them.
o And if we don’t hear them, then we don’t see their need for justice.
• To seek first justice for those that need it the most, we are going to have to deliberately look for them.
• And we might have to put our own need for justice aside for the sake of the other – as Jesus did.
Verse 9 This verse says largely the same thing but adds the part about judging.
• When the judging is within our power or authority, we are to do it with justice and fairness.
Proverbs 29:7 If we are going to call ourselves followers of Jesus, we are to care about justice.
• The word to care here in the NIV is the Hebrew verb “yawdah”
o Which means to know, in the realm of knowledge.
o The NIV translates it as care, because this verb to know can also speak of intimacy.
 The way a man knows “yawdah’s” his wife.
o It’s one thing to know about the justice needed, it’s another thing to care about the justice needed.
• Then in contrast the verse says that it’s the wicked who don’t care about justice.
o “have no so such concern” is from the Hebrew verb to discern or perceive.
• A wicked nature or heart, prevents them from even being able to understand or perceive the need for justice.
o We need the heart of Jesus to even see and understand the need for justice.
Who are these voiceless people who need justice?
Deut 10:17-19 Here in this passage we see, victims of corruptions, children and orphans, widows, foreigners.
• In other passages we see God demand justice for
o Slaves, the hungry, the exploited, the oppressed, the elderly,
o God demands that we pay fair wages
o In today’s language human trafficking victims.