What Does It Mean To Say That God Is Justice?

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Published by Kimberly Wall

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Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author


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Ever wonder why the word “justice” pops up over 300 times in the Bible? But wait, what exactly does “justice” stand for? And when folks say God embodies justice, what are they getting at?

Since we are all created in the image of the Almighty Father, we desire a world where justice reigns, specifically the justice of God, and we get mad when we witness injustice everywhere around us.

However, the Lord Almighty is the only one who is capable of executing justice that is both flawless and divine.

Key Takeaways

  • Justice in the Bible refers to righteousness and fairness, deriving from God’s character, demonstrated through His laws, and the sacrificial redemption through Jesus Christ.
  • To say that God is justice means that God inherently loves righteousness and fairness, expecting His followers to practice justice in their lives.
  • The Bible emphasizes the importance of justice through numerous verses, instructing believers to act justly, love mercy, and trust in God’s ultimate execution of justice.

What Is The Meaning Of Justice From The Bible?

Justice refers to what is correct or what ought to be the case. God’s justice [1] is one of his attributes, which stems from his holiness. In the Scriptures, justice and righteousness are often used interchangeably because righteousness is the attribute of being fair and just and includes both God’s holiness and justice.

To better understand the concept of justice, let us look back at the moment when Adam and Eve committed the first sin. The Lord God forbade Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet they did so (Genesis 2:17; 3:16–17). Humans became sinners by nature and choice when they chose to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So they were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23–24).

The serpent’s heel was to be bruised (Genesis 3:15). The first gospel promises salvation for all of Adam’s descendants, which he accomplished through Christ (Romans 5:12–21). Adam’s high treason necessitates the death sentence. Yet God replaced Adam and Eve with an animal, which was put to death (Genesis 3:21).

God exhibited his love and righteousness with the crucifixion of Jesus, our Savior. The cross executes justice, erasing our sins and granting us eternal life. We see God’s divine justice finally being met in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the righteous God.

He is the only acceptable sacrifice for sinners and their redemption (2 Corinthians 5:21). Moreover, 2 Peter 3:13 assures us that God’s true justice will be fully shown when Christ physically reigns on all the earth.

We can learn from Abigail’s narrative in the Bible. Through her actions to prevent violence, Abigail exhibited a deep faith in God’s justice, intervening wisely to ensure peace. Her example illustrates the biblical principle of seeking peace and justice, aligning with God’s character as shown through His provision of redemption and ultimate justice.

Micah 6:8 also states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?” Additionally, the Lord instructs in Isaiah 56:1, “Do not oppress anybody.” Because he is coming to show you his justice, you must do what is right and good now.

Learning to do good, aiding the underprivileged, protecting orphans’ rights, and fighting for widows’ rights are examples of what the Bible calls “justice” (Isaiah 1:17). Proverbs 18:5 states that it is not right to acquit the criminal or deny the innocent justice.

What Does “God Is Justice” Mean?

The Lord loves righteousness. That is why he is the God of justice. Never does God pervert justice. The Lord expects us to be his disciples, including never making an unjust judgment.

Every human being was created in the image of a just God (Genesis 1:26–27). Because of this, we seek justice on earth and find ourselves frustrated when we observe injustice happening in the world around us. It’s common for us to ask queries such as “Why are crimes punished?” or “Why do we desire justice?” because it’s in our nature to not neglect justice.

A poor man’s lamb was stolen by a rich man, and King David was enraged (2 Samuel 12:1–14). Nathan told David the narrative he did because it exposed David’s unfairness in stealing Uriah’s wife from him. His regretful prayer was crucial because he realized his sins against the Lord and accepted the Lord’s righteousness.

Even though David’s wickedness had been pardoned, the Lord, through the prophet Nathan, told David that the child he fathered from his affair would surely die. It proved that the Lord had not completely wiped away his sin.

It shows that we must fear God just so we do not act wickedly, but it is also the same faithful God, with his infinite mercy, who will deliver justice and God’s wrath to those who have wronged us.

Regarding the end times, the Book of Revelation shows God’s justice in all its majesty. As the saints watch the earth’s destruction, they will sing of God’s just punishment of the people for their final sin of rejecting him.

How To Know The Call Of God For Justice?

Judges must uphold the law, acquit the innocent, convict the wicked, and expose corruption (2 Chronicles 19:5–7) as God’s representatives in the world. They’re not supposed to favor the affluent or the poor in a way that compromises fairness (Exodus 23:3; Leviticus 19:15). According to God’s commandments, a ruler must behave justly and watch out for the helpless.

“Learn to do right and pursue justice” is a common exhortation in the Old Testament for the people of God (Isaiah 1:17). To his attackers, Job declares: “I wore righteousness as a garment; justice was my robe and turban… helped those who couldn’t see or walk with my help. I was a parent to the poor; I took up the cause of the foreigner” (Job 29:14–16).

This same emphasis on the need for loving justice is seen in prophetic literature. It is Amos’ intention to punish “those who persecute the innocent, accept bribes, and deny impoverished people justice in the courts” (Amos 5:12). Moreover, Zechariah encourages God’s people to “administrate fair justice; exhibit love and compassion to one another.”

“Justice and love of God” are two words that Jesus used to criticize the Pharisees, echoing the Old Testament prophets (Luke 11:42). Throughout his writings and sermons, he stresses the need for justice.

As far as the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned, not caring for the poor is a sign that a person does not agree with God. As shown in Matthew 25:35–36, the real sheep are those who have a love for the hungry, the foreigner, the destitute, the sick, and the imprisoned (Matthew 25:34–36).

woman holding a scale of justice at sunset and god is justice

Tips For Embracing God’s Justice In Our Lives

As believers, we are called to align our lives with the righteous God, who upholds justice and hates when others pervert it themselves. God’s character is one of love for justice, and his desire is for his children to walk in his ways.

Seek Wisdom From The Bible Verses

The Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom and guidance on justice and righteousness. Dive into the Scriptures, study the stories of God’s justice prevailing, and seek to understand his heart through the Word. Meditate on passages like Micah 6:8, which urges us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Emulate Christ Jesus

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s justice and love, is our perfect example. Study his life, teachings, and actions to understand how he upheld justice and confronted injustice. Follow in his footsteps, and let his compassion and love guide your interactions with others.

Embrace God’s Everlasting Covenant

God’s justice is rooted in his everlasting covenant with his people. By accepting and living in this covenant, we commit ourselves to acting justly and loving justice. Understand that this covenant carries the responsibility to reflect God’s justice in all areas of our lives.

Act Justly And Love Mercy

Justice is not merely an abstract concept; it requires action. Actively pursue justice in your personal relationships, your community, and the world around you. Show kindness, mercy, and compassion to those who are marginalized and oppressed. Be an advocate for righteousness and stand against injustice.

Trust In God’s Timing

It’s essential to trust that God’s justice will prevail, even when it seems delayed. Understand that God sees every act of injustice, and he will bring justice in his perfect timing. Do not take matters into your own hands or be tempted to seek revenge. Instead, trust in God’s sovereignty and his ability to right every wrong.

Pray For God’s Justice

Pray fervently for justice to be established in our world. Intercede for the oppressed, the victims of injustice, and even those who perpetrate evil. Ask God to intervene and bring about his justice, knowing that he hears the cries of his children and is a God of justice.

Be encouraged by the knowledge that God’s justice will prevail and God’s wrath will be poured out upon evil. Trust in him, walk in his ways, and be a beacon of his justice in the world.

20 Promising Bible Verses About Justice

The wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

— Colossians 3:25

Therefore, the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

— Isaiah 30:18

Learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless; and plead the widow’s cause.

— Isaiah 1:17

For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

— Isaiah 61:8

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city, there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’”

— Luke 18:1–8

For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

— Luke 18:4–5

“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.”

— Deuteronomy 32:4

But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

— Amos 5:24

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

— Psalm 33:5

Blessed are they who observe justice and do righteousness at all times!

— Psalm 106:3

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

— Leviticus 19:15

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but a terror to the evildoers.

— Proverbs 21:15

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Render true judgments; show kindness and mercy to one another.”

— Zechariah 7:9

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.

— Proverbs 28:5

“He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

— Romans 3:26

Give attention to me, my people, and give ear to me, my nation; for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice as a light to the peoples. My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the people; the coastlands hope for me, and for my arm, they wait.

— Isaiah 51:4–5

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you, tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others.

— Matthew 23:23

Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the LORD loves justice, and he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

— Psalm 37:27–29

I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted and will execute justice for the needy.

— Psalm 140:12

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

— Proverbs 21:3

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

— Psalm 89:14
scale of justice in a courtroom and god is justice

Summary

Our God is an awesome God whose justice and righteousness are unshakable. Upholding justice is not easy, but as we align our lives with God’s character and his desire for justice, we can make an impact in our world. Like his love and kindness, God’s justice is an important component of his nature.

Sin would run rampant, and evil would triumph if it weren’t for God’s justice. Humans would have little regard for God if he did not uphold the law. People who trust God are justified by God, who is just and righteous (Romans 3:26). God’s justice has been completely fulfilled in Christ, and only now may those redeemed by grace through faith be adopted by Christ alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Justice According To The Bible?

Justice according to the Bible is what is right or what ought to be, closely linked to God’s holiness and righteousness, embodying fairness and equity as core aspects of God’s character.

How Is God’s Justice Different From Human Justice?

God’s justice is different from human justice because it is perfect, flawless, and divine, stemming from His inherent holiness and righteousness, unlike human justice which can be flawed and partial.

Why Does God Care About Justice?

God cares about justice because it reflects His nature of righteousness and love, and He desires for His creation to live in fairness and equity, treating each other with compassion and integrity.

How Can I Live Out God’s Justice In My Daily Life?

You can live out God’s justice in your daily life by acting justly, loving mercy, showing kindness and compassion to the marginalized and oppressed, and striving to reflect God’s fairness and righteousness in all your interactions.

What Does The Bible Say About Seeking Justice For The Oppressed?

The Bible says that seeking justice for the oppressed is a fundamental aspect of God’s requirements for His people, emphasizing the need to correct oppression, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow’s cause.

How Does Jesus Embody God’s Justice?

Jesus embodies God’s justice by His life, teachings, and ultimate sacrifice, demonstrating God’s love for righteousness and mercy, and offering redemption and reconciliation to all humanity through His death and resurrection.

Can We See God’s Justice At Work Today?

Yes, we can see God’s justice at work today through acts of kindness, fairness, and righteousness carried out by individuals and communities, and in the promise of ultimate justice and restoration through Christ’s return.

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