Love, Joy, Peace...
Social Justice - Part I

Social Justice

Luke 4:17-21

Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Does this mean Jesus came to fix the “universal human issue of injustice”?

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Leviticus 19:9-18

5 sections - I am the LORD

1. Share Finances - 19:9-10

-Care towards those experiencing poverty

2. Words - 19:11-12

-Truth in a time where lies could ruin someone’s life

3. Don’t Take Advantage of Weak - 19:13-14

-Exploiting day laborers

-Don’t take advantage of people

4. Judgments - 19:15-16

-Be Fair

-No partiality for poor or rich

-Justice is not equal treatment but equal application of law

-Justice should be blind

5. Attitude - 19:17-18

-Talk It Out

Leviticus 25:8-13

-Popular among social Justice

-Fiftieth year of the Sabbath Year Cycle

-Return of inherited lands

-Land was leased, not purchased

-Land could be redeemed

-Also dealt with people/debt slavery

-Israelites could be redeemed

-Applied to Israelites, not foreigners

This text only applies to ancient Israel

-Inherited land

-Clear dates

-Only for Israelites (not foreigners)

Micah 2:1-2

2:1 - it is in their power to do it.

-These are people with power and resources

2:2 - They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them.

-This is the illegal seizure of land

-Taking land was removing a person’s ability to survive 

They defraud people of their homes,
    they rob them of their inheritance.

-These are people using their power to financially oppress people

-Theme is repeated in Micah 2:8-9

2:11 - God addresses the spiritual  leaders

If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
    ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’
    that would be just the prophet for this people!

-Indulgence is pervasive

3:1-2 - Political leaders again

Then I said,

“Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,

    you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
    and the flesh from their bones;

-Political leaders taking advantage of the people of Israel

3:5 - God addresses the religious leaders again

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray,
they proclaim ‘peace’
    if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
    who refuses to feed them.


But as for me, I am filled with power,
    with the Spirit of the Lord,
    and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression,
    to Israel his sin.

-Micah is here to proclaim justice to God’s covenant people!


-Both the political and religious leaders are addressed 

Micah 4 & 5 - Messianic Prophecies

4:1-5 - The mountain of the LORD and all nations

5:2 - Bethlehem

Micha 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

-In context what is happening?

-People are responding to Micah’s preaching…What should we do???

Pattern of Micah:

The leaders were ignoring Leviticus 19 & 25

-The prophets were endorsing them for financial compensation

The lack of accountability trickled down to the people of Israel…

-They used dishonest scales in the markets (6:10-12)

-Generally lived for dishonest gain (2:8-9)

This led to Micah 7:1-6

-A breakdown in the social structure and relationships of the Israelite community

-Top-to-bottom injustice has permeated the culture

Into this Micah speaks the words of Michah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly (Leviticus 19 & 25) and to love mercy (Leviticus 19 & 25)
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Social Justice for these kings was simple…

-Judge the poor fairly, instead of exploiting them

-Stop cheating the poor/vulnerable and lining royal pockets through oppression

-Quit snuffing out the weak in order to get their land and possessions

-This will trickle down to the people!

This was not a call to permeate the world with social justice!

-It was a call for God’s people to treat God’s people like God’s people (Refrain of Lev. 25)!

For us now…as long as you are not taking advantage of the poor and the weak, withholding wages and generally cheating the vulnerable then you are doing Social Justice.

Continued on next card...

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1565 Smith Road, Charleston, WV 25314
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