“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.” —Genesis 18:19
“So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” —2 Samuel 8:15 (NASB)
“Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever, He has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” —1 Kings 10:9
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” —Isaiah 9:6-7
Do you see the tight link between righteousness and justice?
As leaders in ministry, leaders in our communities, and parents and mentors of kids or influencers of other young people, we are called to model—to do—justice and righteousness. Note the verbs surrounding righteousness and justice… do, administer, execute, establish and uphold. These are deed-centric verbs! Righteousness and justice are to be our mode of living, and it is our call to model these virtues for our families and communities. We are predominantly called to exemplify rather than explain these virtues—meeting our neighbors with God’s lovingkindness first and foremost, not lectures on holy living.
Father Abraham, the first patriarch of covenant, family, and the people of Israel wasn’t called to change human history, although he did, he was simply called to be a dad. He wasn’t a perfect one, and neither are we perfect parents/mentors, but our call is the same today.
God also calls kings to reign the same way He calls parents to parent, the same way He shepherds us. Righteousness and justice, righteousness and justice… If we hope to impact others, we must lead in the same way: pursuing purity personally, and enacting justice in our everyday decisions. Again, we won’t get it all right; it’s about relationship with the Holy One.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” —Psalm 89:14
“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.” —Hosea 2:19-20
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” —Micah 6:8
Do you see the attributes that surround righteousness and justice?
“Steadfast love” and “kindness” are translated from the same Hebrew root checed. This word conveys the strong, committed, sure lovingkindness of God for His people. Our perfect model of righteousness and justice meets us, keeps us, and calls us by His love, His great and merciful love.
So yes, our call is to live and lead in righteousness and justice—seeking to be men and women of integrity, humble servants who take up the cause of the vulnerable and show no partiality. But even more so, we are to receive and reflect this unshakable, undeserved gift: His steadfast love.
Who is someone you know who models justice and righteousness while also speaking graciously, extending God’s mercy and steadfast love?