“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8, NIV).
Micah 6:8 plainly expresses the will of God for His people. We are all called to further the cause of justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before our God. Humility is not debasing oneself in the name of religion but to fully submit to the dictates, principles, commands, and yes, even the promises of God. To reject the Word is pride. To submit to the Word is true humility. The person who loves mercy is a person who longs to see the distress in the lives of people alleviated rather than rejoicing for the obvious consequences of the choices they have made. Mercy, the Bible says, triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). But what about this concept of justice? Is the Lord talking about criminal justice, economic justice, or social justice? Actually the Lord is talking about a justice that supersedes all other concepts of justice – spiritual justice.
You see, Jesus went to the cross for our redemption and paid the price for our sin and rebellion. Justice was served through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is unjust for a person to stay bound in sin when they have embraced Jesus Christ. It is unjust for us to stay sick, depressed, oppressed, condemned, broke, in bondage, or filled with shame because blood has been shed. In other words, it is a violation of God’s sense of spiritual justice to put up with anything that Jesus died to redeem us from as God’s people. To do justly, as Micah expressed it, is to do everything we can to inform and help people tap into the marvelous consequences of God’s justice wrought through the blood of Jesus. We all should be righteously indignant when the enemy tries to rob us or the people of God from that justice.
We see a wonderful example of this in the life of King David (2 Samuel 9) when he reached out to be a blessing to Mephibosheth, the son of his covenant friend Jonathan. David quizzed his servant Ziba to find out if there was someone from the household of Saul still around so that he could show covenant kindness to them (intentional and overt assistance and favor bestowed because of covenant). Ziba found Mephibosheth who had been dropped and crippled early in life and was now living in the land of Lo Debar, a dry, barren, lifeless, dismal desolate place of shame, despair, and no pasture (contrast that with Psalm 23 where the shepherd provides green pastures). Lo Debar is a place of broken dreams, lives, and bodies where many people figuratively live to this day. It’s interesting to see how David enforced the blessing for this man that everyone seemed to forget about (but not God).
First, Ziba was instructed to fetch or violently remove this man from Lo Debar in the name of covenant and bring him to David. He was to literally retrieve Mephibosheth from physical devastation and bondage. In David’s mind no covenant child of God should be living in Lo Debar. He should be living in God’s Kingdom. This principle speaks of the practical, physical restoration that comes from God’s blessing. It’s amazing how the Lord can literally pluck an individual out of a corrupt and destructive environment and set them back on the path of life.
Second, Ziba was instructed to restore everything that had been lost by his family. All of Saul’s possessions, his lands, goods, and properties, were to be restored to Mephibosheth, and his lands were to be farmed as well to produce crops and sustenance for the son of his friend Jonathan. The blessing also works in our lives in this way to bring material restoration. The devil, the world, and religion do not like it much but the Lord truly empowers His people materially because of covenant. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “…for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant.”
Finally, Ziba was told to bring this Mephibosheth to David’s table so that he would always dine with the King. This speaks of God’s spiritual restoration in our lives. This man who had lost everything in life including his father, grandfather, lands, wealth, possessions, respect, and health, had been rescued from Lo Debar and now brought to the table reserved for royalty. He now looked like royalty, smelled like royalty, spoke like royalty and sat at the table of the King himself who treated him as a son. That’s our God. No one transforms lives like our God.
Maybe you can relate to Mephibosheth today. When David received him, Mephibosheth, filled with shame, asked David, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me? (2 Samuel 9:8). Ironically, his name meant, “he scatters shame,” or “destroying shame,” or “exterminator of shame.” In thinking about what the Lord had done for him, despite the setbacks and hardship, it’s obvious that he lived up to his name in the end. All shame was stripped from his life through the justice and mercy of God. It was spiritually just for David to show kindness to Mephibosheth, enforce the blessing in his life, and remove his shame. By the same token it is just for you to be shown covenant kindness as well. Blood has been shed so that you too could have all shame exterminated from your life.