Words from the Heart for Saturday November 26th, 2016
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Amos 5:24 (NIV)
Let Justice Roll ON
Try to contain a rushing river and it merely pours over and around anything that stands in its way. In the same fashion, our faith should not be contained and privatized; faith has an influence on our public ethics. Are you trying to contain your faith, or is it rolling out and touching every area of your life?
Canada’s legal system is based on the English and French systems. Explorers and colonists brought these systems to Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Battle of Quebec in 1759, the country fell under English common law, except for Quebec, which follows civil law. The common law is law that is not written down as legislation. Common law evolved into a system of rules based on precedent. The common law cannot be found in any code or body of legislation, but only in past decisions. At the same time, it is flexible. It adapts to changing circumstances because judges can announce new legal doctrines or change old ones. Civil codes contain a comprehensive statement of rules. Many are framed as broad, general principles to deal with any dispute that may arise.
We often think of justice as social and righteousness as personal. Or justice as political and righteousness as spiritual. But the Bible often uses the terms together. Amos 5:24, for example, says “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” The world is filled with injustice and unrighteousness. Sin caused a breakdown in every relationship – between people and God and between each other. The result was the need for God to take the lead in restoring those relationships. He did so by sending Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection sets things right. Spiritually, God’s justice demands that He can’t just ignore our sin. To let us off scott free would not be just. And our sin prevents us from being righteous. God dealt with the dilemma by sending Jesus. And when Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment that we deserve, God’s justice was met. And when we repent of our sin and put our faith in Jesus Christ, He forgives us and His righteousness becomes our righteousness. Justice and righteousness always go together. This is the case in the heart and life of the individual follower of Jesus Christ, and also in the larger sense. Amos looked to the day when the Messiah would come and justice and righteousness would flow like a river across the world. The prophecy has been fulfilled as the forgiveness that Jesus offers has transformed people, communities and nations around the world.
These have been words from the heart.