THE SERVANT GENERAL
JUSTICE OF JOB
readings again point us to our theme for 2010. "The Almighty!
Just and righteous is He." As we are children of God
who are made in His image and likeness, so too should we be
just and righteous. Yesterday (Lessons of Job Part 14) we
looked at the righteousness of Job. Today we look at the aspect
of justice as practiced by Job.
theme verse says, "The Almighty! we cannot discover him,
pre-eminent in power and judgment; his great justice owes
no one an accounting." (Job 37:23). Today's psalm verse
says, "Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment,
nor will sinners in the assembly of the just." (Ps 1:5).
God judges us and metes justice according to our conduct.
All are judged, and the goats are separated from the sheep.
If we are to survive judgment, we must be just.
are we just? Let us again look at Job, at the very same verses
we examined yesterday in looking at his righteousness (from
Job 31). But first, know that there is an interplay between
being righteous and being just. If one is righteous, then
one must be just. If one is to be just, then one must be righteous.
What is the difference? Righteousness is being in right relationship
with God and living a life according to His ways. It is being
holy. Justice is giving to the other person whatever is his
due. Righteousness is a state of being personally right with
God. Justice is the state of doing right to others.
was a just man, and he knew it. "Let God weigh me in
the scales of justice; thus will he know my innocence!"
(Job 31:6). In what ways was Job just? Job acted in practical
day-to-day ways that gave those he interacted with what was
their due. One, he paid his tenants for the produce of the
land (Job 31:39), thus giving just compensation. Two, he did
not lust against a maiden or woman (Job 31:1), thus not violating
their dignity. Three, he did not covet what belonged to his
neighbor (Job 31:9), thus giving due recognition to what was
his or not his. Four, he treated his servants well (Job 31:13),
thus giving them due respect and proper compensation. Five,
he cared for and provided for the poor (Job 31:16,19), thus
giving them an equitable share of the world's goods. Six,
he did not raise his hand against the innocent (Job 31:21),
thus not oppressing the powerless. Seven, he did not trust
in mammon (Job 31:24-25), thus not failing to be grateful
to God for his abundance. Eight, he did not lapse into idolatry
(Job 31:26-27), thus not depriving God of the worship that
was due to Him alone. Nine, he did not wish or exult in evil
for his foes (Job 31:29), thus not failing to love even his
enemies. Ten, he offered hospitality to strangers (Job 31:31-32),
thus giving them due consideration as children of God. Eleven,
he did not abuse the land (Job 31:38), thus exercising proper
dominion over nature and the environment.
God is just and righteous, He desires that we be just and
righteous as well. But it is our choice. Unfortunately we
are hampered by our human flesh and the lure of the world.
But God's grace is sufficient, if we but take hold of it.
So as today's reading in Romans says, "For just as you
presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and
to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves
to righteousness for sanctification." (Rom 6:19b). So
we choose. Now because God is just and righteous, our choice
is ultimately a choice to be for or against God. There will
be those who will choose one or the other. And so there will
be division, as today's gospel reading shows. Jesus himself
says he came to establish division, where "a household
of five will be divided, three against two and two against
three" (Lk 12:52). Even the closest of relatives or brethren
will be divided (Lk 12:53).
division happens even in Christian community, even among the
closest of brethren and even among the highest of elders.
Unrighteousness and injustice lead to division. If people
choose to lie, to malign, to attack, to withhold just compensation,
to refuse to pay just debts, to distort truth, to afflict
the innocent, then there will be strife and division. For
the unrighteous and unjust, there will be punishment, for
"the wicked will not survive judgment" and "the
way of the wicked leads to ruin." (Ps 1:5a,6b). They
are the enemies of God.
why is it that in the world the good suffer and the bad seem
to prosper? That is something that we will continue to consider
as we learn the lessons of Job. But suffice for now to know:
"The Lord watches over the way of the just" and
"Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked"
(Ps 1:6a,1a). Our call is clear: just and righteous should
to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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of Job - Part 15[PDF]