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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Just or Fair?

Just or Fair?

Amos 5:24 is one of 27 times that the Hebrew word that is rendered “justice” in our Bibles appears in the minor prophets (Hosea, Amos, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi).
How would you define “just”?

A quick look at the web suggests that the current understanding of the Word is similar to the definition of “fair”.  Fair is a concept that is talked about in politics, social media, and a myriad of other venues.

However, God is never described as “fair.”  That is not the force of the Hebrew word.  A quick survey of all of the uses of מִשְׁפָּט (mispat) seem to suggest that the term means alignment with the law.  It is not fair in the sense that it is normally used today.  It means compliance to the law.

Since in the Bible God is the source of the Law, one could suggest that “just” is in alignment with His nature and character.

It is not a subjective concept.  However, fair, seems to be.  There is significant debate on what is fair.  However, one is either in compliance with a law or one is not.

There seems to be a distinct difference.  Which begs the question, “Why is justice, so central in these books?”

1 comment:

  1. "Law" in our society seems to have less of an impact on our society all the time. We read almost daily of people who despise any law or even rule for basically the reason that "I don't want to...."

    We shouldn't be surprised. Our hereditary father made the decision that has infected every one of us from then on. He was warned, "If you eat will surely die." (Genesis 2:17) He did, and we all have since.

    Except that the Lawgiver Himself stepped in and provided His own remedy, the penalty of all our sin and disobedience for all time laid on His Son so that, if we take that free gift we receive a full and complete pardon and a destiny of eternity with our Savior Himself.

    The problem is, that receiving of that gift because it means giving up our autonomy and coming under His gracious and loving rule.

    For many, eternity separated from Him is preferable to an eternity of submission to Him. How sad we are so twisted....

    Thank you, Mike, for identifying this vital distinction. I for one don't want "what is fair."