Does America Really Want Justice?

This morning while pondering the current political and societal upheaval in our nation, the thought came to me, “Do we (America) really want justice?”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail said:

“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

martin luther king, letter from birmingham jail

In Dr. King’s letter he was referring to God’s righteous justice taken from Amos 5:24: “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Justice and righteousness are the foundation of God’s throne. He is always faithful to do what is right and just. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” –Psalm 89:14

When Amos appears on the scene there was pride, corruption, and opulent wealth among the affluent. Scripture says they planted vineyards, anointed themselves with precious oils (6:4-6;5:11) If the nation was doing so well why did God send the Prophet Amos? At the time there was no justice in the land, the poor were afflicted, exploited, even sold into slavery (2:6-8; 5:11), and the judges were corrupt (5:12).

Amos arose in the midst of this atmosphere and proclaimed the Lord’s anger to the people. Amos called upon the people to “seek the Lord and live.” (5:6) What had provoked the Lord’s anger? Two things stand out in the prophet’s condemnation. The absence of loyalty and the absence of pity. (1:3-2:3)

The anger of the Lord was directed at the nations and the people. They had not kept the Torah of the Lord, nor His statutes. The prophetic response to injustice was to reveal to them the error of their ways and remind them that chosenness was not to be mistaken for divine favoritism or immunity from chastisement. On the contrary, that meant being more seriously exposed to divine judgment and chastisement.

For those who profess Christianity or to be Christians, we would do well to understand that God is a loving Father full of grace which includes correction when we are in error. The New Testament says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” –1 Peter 4:17 KJV

God’s justice (fairness and equity) is for all of creation. He does not tolerate injustice, but the gate of repentance remains open. At times God’s call is “Seek me”, at other times “Seek the good.”

Seek me and live; Seek good, not evil, that you may live.Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.” –Amos 5:4, 14-1

The Lord’s judgment is never final. There is always a dimension of God’s pervading love where compassion and mercy prevails. America is in a difficult place. As this nation continues to struggle with racism and more, the Lord has been gracious, yet a time comes where the right thing must be done in the sight of the Lord.

Scripture clearly instructs believers not to put their trust in man who cannot save, but in the Lord and do good. –Psalm 146:3; 37:3

If it is God’s will for America to return to her former glory, power, and influence and be a “shining city on a hill“, it will not be determined by who sits in the White House and who doesn’t. Nor will it be determined by the number of conservative justices sitting on the bench. If it happens it will be because the people (of all ethnicities) called by His name “humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14

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