February 15, 2011

Justice & Righteousness

This past Sunday, Derry continued a series we're doing at NMC entitled "God is ______." I am always excited when we venture ourselves back into the descriptions of God's character and discover His presence in our lives. It continually reminds me of the ways that God has shown up in my life and how He continues to show up in our lives.

If you didn't catch this week's installment of "God is _____," it will soon be up in the message player and you can join in the journey at www.godisblank.com.

However, I had a lightbulb moment this weekend when Derry took us back to the original Hebrew that shows up in Chronicles. Of course as he did this, my mind began to wander to other places in scripture that the word righteousness shows up again. I found myself in Matthew 5 and the Beatitudes, namely, Matthew 5:6.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

I've always read this with the thought of righteousness being about the character of God and my desire to be like Him in that regard. But, as Derry took us through the different Hebraic definitions for righteousness and tied it very directly to Justice, I had to look it up.

The Greek for righteousness here is: δικαιοσύνη dikaiosynē and the definitions of that word play out like this:
 1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God
      a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God
      b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting
2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

That is so amazing to me. It gives that passage even more meaning in my life. Those who hunger and thirst for things to be made so that each man has what he is due. This righteousness is not just for ME. It's for everyone around me. If anything that is such a reminder of God's faithfulness. Almost like God is saying, "You know what, I've commanded you to do justice and to stand up for those who have no justice. And the reality is that this is a very difficult task and will probably never be easy. But, I just want to remind you, you will be satisfied. You will know justice in it's purest form. You will see righteousness in the way I intended it. So take heart."

God is good.


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