Again it’s been a few weeks. And it is good!
One of the many activities during my absence was reporting for jury duty. I know many may consider this a real pain and a disruption to routine. I admit I wasn’t really looking forward to it myself. Generally, it means sitting in a huge room waiting to be called for jury selection. In the past, I’ve been called only once in 20 years, so the odds of even getting this far are unlikely. Well, this time was different. For two days I was in a court room while potential jurors were selected and either chosen or excused. Well, I was the last one called and was awarded the final chair in the jury box!
I freely admit that while it was tedious at times I was really excited! As the saying goes “The wheels of justice turn slowly” but I learned that they DO turn! I found the entire process fascinating! From selection, to opening statements, to listening to testimony and evidence and closing remarks and then being one of eight to render a just verdict of sorts. It was a civil case and as such we were responsible for determining any fault, if any, in a traffic collision. Deliberating with seven other people was relatively easy in this case. It took under two hours!
As I considered our system of justice here in the U.S. of A., I was also reminded of one of my favorite guiding scriptures and my responsibility not only to the court, but to God.
As I was preparing today’s post I had a few thoughts…
First, that in this short but powerful verse God says that He has (already) told us what is good and what He requires of us. At the top of the list-DO JUSTICE.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like life isn’t fair! I’m thinking you know what I’m talking about. Interruptions in plans and routines, sudden illness in the family, and so many worse things. In my life, the death of my two oldest sons within 18 months was definitely one of those “Life sucks” seasons. It is during these times that we may choose to strike back, or refrain from doing anything that is kind or merciful! I know it has been true for me more often than I’d care to discuss!
So what exactly IS justice? According to the definition(s) at dictionary.com:
1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness:to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason:
to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.
A much simpler way of putting it is doing what is right (even if you don’t want to). Notice that it’s more about how we treat others. And to love mercy and kindness! Throughout the Gospels our Lord talked much about these things.
- We are to turn the other cheek ( Matthew 5:39)
- Love our enemies and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44 )
- Don’t go through the motions of religious practice (Matthew 23:23 Luke 11:42 )
- Let go and let God! (Luke 18:6-8)
These are just a few passages about how to do what the Lord requires of us when we are asked to render a verdict as well as what to do when we are judged unfairly.
That being said (and being the “original language” geekgirl that I am) I also did a brief word study on “justice”.
A few interesting facts:
In the ESV there are 136 verses where JUSTICE is mentioned. EIGHT different words in the OT/Hebrew and five in the NT/Greek. If you’re interested in exploring a bit more, I’ve got a little spreadsheet(in PDF: JUSTICE in ESV
that you can study. If you would like it in Excel click here: Bible Search for justice
And last but not least a little “ear worm”
for your day!
Hope you'll share with others!