What does the LORD require?

April 14, 2011


Diane has hung a wreath of Forsythia on our front door, and stuck more branches in pots on either side of the entrance.  These bright, colorful, but artificial signs of spring have attracted a purple finch, who sits in the wreath and fills out house with beautiful finch songs.  I think he sings something like this, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, or for as long as I have breath to sing.”  I may not have it exactly right, but I think that’s what he is saying.

Of course I may be all messed up.  It could be he’s just singing, ” I need a lover who won’t drive me crazy.” but that kind of hard to blog about (not that I wouldn’t give it a try) so, I’ll stay with my first translation.

Of course I know I’m anthropomorphizing here a bit.  Sometimes when I observe nature, what is reflected is what is on my heart at the time.  I remember walking through a State Park one day, really struggling with an issue, and I felt like I was just banging my head against a wall in trying to solve the problem.  So what was the predominant species of bird I saw and heard on that walk?  Pileated Woodpeckers; they were everywhere.  If I’m feeling particularly restless, it’s Canada Geese on the wing that I notice.

Recently, Scripture passages that dealt with justice have been on my mind.  I don’t hear many creatures crying out for justice, unless you count the mule in a recent post and the worms on my driveway.  But in the morning songs of finches, robins,doves — I hear all creatures of our God and King, singing to a God of Justice and Mercy.  I did a brief search; even as I search for justice for those trapped in the slavery of human trafficking, in the pain of friends near and far, and yes even for myself I want to be clear.  What does God say about justice?  Here are a few of the over 100 Old Testament verses on justice:

Exodus 23:6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people….

Deuteronomy 16:20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Zechariah 7:9 “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I don’t require people to treat me with justice (God does) but I will act with justice.  and I will trust God.   If he mentions it over one hundred times, it’s important to him.  I don’t know what judgment awaits the People of the King who refuse to obey him, but God demands that we, His people, treat people justly, he doesn’t just suggest it.

His Word is clear.    If we can, we must!

So our path is clear, seek justice, dispense justice, live justly.  That is what the LORD requires. I can’t think of a better way to honor the Easter season that committing to live justly.


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