Justice: Part 1
RACIAL TENSION Unrest and division among people caused by differing racial origins. Personal identity in the ancient world was not primarily based on race but on family, tribal, city, national, ethnic, or religious ties.
Shepherds (who were typically Semitic) were an abomination to the (non-Semitic) Egyptians (Gen. 46:34). When the Jews lived outside Palestine, racial differences became more significant (Esther 3:1–6; cp. Luke 4:25–28). Paul reports an accepted Greek maxim stigmatizing the Cretans as always being “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12–13; “lazy gluttons” NIV). Because there is no racial distinction in Christ (Gal. 3:28–29; Eph. 2:19), the church was able to spread rapidly to the Gentile world to encompass persons of all races. Divisions and prejudice based on race are unacceptable for Christians.
Starting Point | TBP Series
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The LORD frees the prisoners.
8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down.
The LORD loves the godly.
9 The LORD protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
1. He must tell them what was their duty, what was the good which the Lord their God required of them, v. 3. They must take care, (1.) That they do all the good they can with the power they have. They must do justice in defence of those that were injured, and must deliver the spoiled out of the hand of their oppressors. This was the duty of their place, Ps. 82:3. Herein they must be ministers of God for good. (2.) That they do no hurt with it, no wrong, no violence. That is the greatest wrong and violence which is done under colour of law and justice, and by those whose business it is to punish and protect from wrong and violence. They must do no wrong to the stranger, fatherless, and widow; for these God does in a particular matter patronise and take under his tuition, Ex. 22:21, 22.
“You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.