Do what is right: Isaiah 1.17 VOTD

“Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!”

Isaiah 1.17

God appealed to Israel for her repentance, which means correcting what is wrong in one’s life and learning to do right. Through the prophet’s warning, he sought opportunity for forgiveness, v. 18.

Is anything lacking in your profession of faith? If so, what? What is there that we need still to learn about doing right?

#repentance #Isaiah #justice #VOTD

Testimony of two or three: Deuteronomy 19.15 VOTD

“A single witness may not testify against another person for any trespass or sin that he commits. A matter may be legally established only on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Deuteronomy 19.15

God is just. He organized the people of Israel so that justice would prevail. Attempts to pervert justice were dealt with harshly so that all would fear.

Such principles continue to bring justice in the disciplinary process of the church of God. Why is the testimony of two or three witnesses important in this process?

#justice #discipline #VOTD

‘Abhorrent to the Lord your God’ Deuteronomy 25.16 VOTD

“For anyone who acts dishonestly in these ways is abhorrent to the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 25.16

Accurate and correct measures were conditions for Israel’s long life.

Honesty is necessary for the practice of justice.

#honesty #VOTD #justice

Confusing spiritual mercy with a lack of physical justice

It seems as though many people in the religious world do not know the difference between spiritual mercy triumphing over spiritual justice and spiritual mercy that ignores physical justice – even to the extent that child molesters are given a pass from deserved prison time simply because they wear a collar around their neck!

“…Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.” (Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy)

“Penalties” including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry? The reality of such a “penalty” is nothing but a prime example of what it means to confuse mercy with a lack of physical justice. It would do an injustice to the phrase “slap on the wrist” if someone were to use it in connection to the “penalties” listed above.

Spiritual mercy is God’s business, and such a mercy can be found by meeting his requirements regardless of the sin that has been committed.

Physical justice is the responsibility of those who are in authority upon the Earth. Without physical justice there is no law; only anarchy. And when such justice is blatantly ignored by those in authority, the victim is forced to suffer an injustice twice…once at the hands of the criminal, and again at the hands of the “authority” who perverts the very definition of the word justice with their less than paltry judgment.

The justice being ignored by the Vatican’s pope is not something that has been incurred by a speeder, a jay-walker, someone stealing so they can eat, or even two consenting adulterers. The crime was the institutionalized sexual assault of children! And a lack of cuffs around the wrist due to a collar around the neck perverts the concept of mercy triumphing over judgment by denying physical judgment a chance to even take place.

““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6-7)

#authority, #justice, #mercy

The Even-Handed Justice of Man (A Word to the Wise)

“A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work (Proverbs 16:11, NKJV). In this exhortation of the Holy Spirit, the king over his people is not one who is to sustain his own pleasures with corrupting influences. Instead, he lives by the standard that is of God. When issues need to be properly judged, the king is to have a standard that is even-handed and right. The only standard known to man that is that way is the standard that belongs to the Lord. Too often man gets in the way of himself as he tries to administer justice; the subjectivity of evaluating motives makes even-handed justice difficult at best. A prime example of this is secular progressivism, or liberalism. There is no chance for justice to be rendered evenhandedly across the board because the standard of measurement is always floating, changing and fluid. My friends, reject the ways of man (Proverbs 14:12) and accept the ways of the Lord.

#justice, #word-to-the-wise

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11-9-2016 The Wicked Will Not Escape

“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 NKJV).  When people aren’t immediately “struck down” from Heaven by God; or their case drags on through the court system; or there is not enough “justice” in the Justice System to bring about conviction, people think they have gotten away “scot-free!”  The human justice system may be completely corrupted, but God’s Judgment and punishment is not!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#justice, #scot-free, #wicked

Injustice in the world

If things in the world worked as they ought, you’d not have Hillary running for president, nor Trump, for that matter. Yesterday’s FBI release (made on the Friday of a long holiday weekend, a political tactic) of the transcript of the interview with Hillary shows yet again her lying through the teeth. Even with her obvious lies, the FBI director decided there was no reason to prosecute. Anybody else would have been in prison long ago.

My point here isn’t a political statement, but a spiritual one. Continue reading

#justice

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11-17-2015 Who Asks For “Justice”

Some people call for “justice,” but they have prejudged the outcome. They falsely use the term “justice” to hide their usually racially-prejudiced demand. Solomon said: “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all” (Proverbs 28:5 NKJV). God had commanded Israelites through Moses: “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19 NKJV). Justice is served with regard for law and not skin color or wealth. It was a prejudiced, blood-thirsty mob who demanded their meaning of “justice” for Jesus, but “In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth” (Acts 8:33 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

 

#blood-thirsty, #justice, #mob, #racially-prejudiced

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6-22-2015 Seeking Justice

21-year-old Dylan Roof sat in an hour-long Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, then slaughtered 9 people. He is yet another mass murderer from a broken home that left him feeling alienated. Speaking of God’s Law through Moses, Jesus Christ said, “the weightier matters of the law: [were] justice and mercy and faith” (Matthew 23:23 NKJV). “Justice” is an even application of law upon all. “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19 NKJV). In Jesus’ “humiliation His justice was taken away” (Acts 8:33 NKJV), by the street crowd shouting, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21 NKJV). Lawless lynch mobs demand “justice” when laws and righteous judgment should prevail.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#charleston, #dylan-roof, #justice, #lynch-mobs, #south-carolina

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4-29-2015 Street Crime

David prayed, “Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men” (Psalm 140:1 NKJV). Solomon gave a reason for that, “A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good” (Proverbs 16:29 NKJV). Destructive violence in a land of laws is not the way of “Justice.” “The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice” (Proverbs 21:7 NKJV). The people who call for “justice” but preach violence are against “justice.” “Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking” (Proverbs 24:1-2 NKJV). Whether a city, state, or country, or a neighborhood gang, advocates of violence and plundering are nothing but lawless criminals!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#justice, #lawless-criminals, #plundering, #violence, #violent-man

ETHICS

As a nation the Lord was greatly displeased with Israel. There were many things that plagued them, but in Isaiah 1:17 there are five points the Lord set forth for Israel to do. 1) Learn to do good, 2) seek justice, 3) rebuke the oppressor, 4) defend the fatherless, and 5) plead for the widow (the wording of the NKJV). The word “good” can best be understood in relation to the Lord’s will. The word “justice” simply means that Israelites were to properly apply the Lord’s word from the high ranking official all the way down to the lowest or the economically deprived in the community. The one who oppresses is rendered differently in the NET: “Give the oppressed reason to celebrate.” This seems to be best understood in relation to the next two points; the children and the widows who have no one to provide for them need assistance. That which the Lord called upon the children of Israel to do, let us do the same.

 

#ethics, #justice, #poor

Same Old Game

There are many people in the world today who fancy themselves as too intellectual to fall under the judgment of God. They see “flaws” in the expedited judgment of God and therefore they rest assured that this God has no right to judge, or he would at least maintain a consistency that judges mankind after the same manner that he expects mankind to judge ourselves.

For example, God tells man not to murder but then he causes one nation to rise against another resulting in a vast multitude of lives that are taken. Taking this into consideration some say that God has no right to do what he did and that he has no right to condemn a man for doing the same.

Here’s where that logic breaks down – God is God and man is man. Now by that I do not mean that God can be accused of saying “do as I say and not as I do” but that as our Creator, God has the right to set the standard, and when we (as individuals or as nations) fail that standard by sinning against our self, against others and against God then there will be consequences for our actions. Is it right to call the rule of law and the consequences of breaking it evil because of the punishment that it bears against the wicked? Of course not! Man’s entire legal system rests upon that fact. Break the law and there will be legal consequences, maybe even deadly ones, which would otherwise be illegal for one man to do to another. We understand this – until this understanding gets applied to God and then all of a sudden it’s un-just, un-fair, un-ethical and un-holy. To that I say there is a major lack of un-derstanding when it comes to the difference between the pure righteousness of God and the faltering righteousness of man and the justice that follows.

At the end of the day man will lose the same old game of pointing the finger at God when it comes time for God to judge man and our wickedness, for our lack of personal responsibility to sin does not reflect upon our amenability to the judgment of God.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”” (Genesis 3:11-13)

#accusations-against-god, #god, #judgment-of-god, #justice

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Psalm 146 What Has God Done For Me, Lately?

These last 5 Psalms are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm is undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

Verses 1-4 urge when God should be praised;

Verses 5-10 explain why God should be praised.

Verses 1-4: Praise should be given to God “while I live.” Duh! This is a statement of the obvious. The Word of God nowhere encourages anyone to not praise God until after death. Trust should not be transferred from God to “princes” (government leaders) or “a son of man” (humans in general), for deliverance. The middle verse of the entire Word of God says this: “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Humans die when the spirit goes back to God and the body is left on earth (Ecclesiastes 12:7), so that “in that very day his plans perish.”

Verses 5-10: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, because He:

1. Is The God over History (verse 5), Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” (Genesis 32:24-30), and God watched over those people (Isaiah 48) through the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament (Galatians 3:5-29);

2. Is The God over Creation (verse 6), which shows absolute, total wisdom in its very existence and orderliness (Proverbs 8:12, 22-31). All scientific factual discoveries, whether in Physics, Biology, or Chemistry are simply the uncovering of God’s Wisdom behind this World’s constitution;

3. Is The God over Justice (verse 7), evening the suppression or oppression of the hungry and imprisoned (Luke 4:16-41);

4. Is The God over Perfecting the Needy (verse 8), with physical healing through Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:30; Luke 13:11-13), then spiritually through His Word (Acts 26:12-19). God loves the righteous, those who do His will (1 Peter 3:8-12);

5. Is The God over Benevolence (verse 9), for He has always made rules for His people to help strangers, orphans, and widows (Exodus 22:21; Hebrews 13:2; Psalm 68:4-5; James 1:27);

6. Is The God over Eternity (verse 10, a quotation of Exodus 15:18), Who is timeless (Isaiah 57:15; Acts 15:18).  

“Praise the LORD.”   

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,  unless otherwise noted.

#benevolence, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #creation, #daily-bible-reading, #eternity, #faith, #god, #history, #justice, #needy, #obedience, #salvation, #wisdom

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Psalm 119:121-128 Ayin Justice In The Word

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:121-128  Ayin                               Justice In The Word           

Verses 121-123 describe a righteous person before God;

Verses 124-125 make a request of God;

Verse 126 asks God to help with the godless;

Verses 127-128 mention good things God’s Word does for the obedient.

Verses 121-123: (Verse 121) Keeping covenant with God, man’s part is not a statement from pride (Luke 18:9-14), but from a clear conscience (1 John 3:21), and asks God to keep His part: not to abandon the obedient among “oppressors;” (Verse 122) guarantee His “servant’s” goodness; relief from the oppression of the “proud.” (Verse 123) Mention is made of a servant’s diligence with tired eyes searching God’s “righteous word” (statements which make clear what God expects).

Verse 124-125: (Verse 124) Obedience to God justly brings the hope of “mercy” in one willing to be taught God’s “statutes” (words that trace around to make clear). (Verse 125) A “servant” of God will be given “understanding” (insight, comprehension) “to know” God’s “testimonies” (proof of His good character). “Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

Verse 126: (Verse 126) The “proud” are those who think God’s “law” (words that make a straight path) is empty of force. Maybe God will choose to do something promptly that turns the godless back to the Bible.

Verses 127-128: (Verse 127) Because of the straight path, clear law, hopeful promises, and God’s character, His “commandments” (words authorizing or forbidding conduct) deserve: our greatest bond (“love”), our highest esteem (“more than fine gold”), and (Verse 128) our purest judgment (“all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right”). We, therefore, accept God’s justice and “hate every false way.” God’s command to “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15) is repeated for Christians in Romans 12:9: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Thanks to God and His Word, there is no confusion as to which is which!

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #justice, #obedience, #oppression, #proud, #salvation, #sin, #teaching, #truth, #work

A Wonderful Old Testament Passage About Jesus

There is definitely more than one wonderful verse about Jesus in Isaiah but one that I don’t hear referenced very much is Isaiah 59:17. There the scripture says, “For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Some may shy away from this verse because of the reference to violence. But one should not be afraid to use this verse in connection with the gospel. Jesus refrained from using justice filled violence while subjecting himself to the justice of God and the unjust violence of men and women here upon the earth, but Jesus’ life here on Earth is over and when Jesus returns it won’t be a picnic for the enemies of God much to contradicting advice given by all the “universalists” out there.

Jesus is the slaughtered Lamb of God for our sins, but Jesus is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah for unrepentant sinners!

since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 – NKJV)

#a-wonderful-old-testament-passage, #christianity, #gospel, #isaiah, #jesus, #judgment, #justice, #violence