This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
The rules for behaviour set out in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy include justice for various vulnerable members of society. The God of the Bible loves justice.
The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi all spoke about justice.
Jesus Christ claimed to be the one spoken about by Isaiah, who would bring justice. Matthew 12:17-21
Hebrews 11:32-34 Speaks of the judges, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, and about about David and Samuel and the prophets listing their acts of faith, which included administering justice.
The Book of Job and the Psalms include the word justice many times.
Unjust and just rulers
The law-abiding prophet, Samuel, had sons who perverted justice. 1 Samuel 8:1-3
Samuel had appointed them to rule over the people, but as they accepted bribes and perverted jujstice, the people asked for a king. (Up to this point Israel was unlike the surrounding nations, who had kings. God was the ruler of Israel; however he allowed the people to have a succession of kings and directed Samuel in the choice of the first kings.)
The kings were responsible for justice and resolving disputes. The first king was Saul, followed by David, who had been a shepherd boy and killed the giant Goliath. After David’s death his son Solomon became king. He began his reign well. God asked him in a dream, What would you like me to give you?
Solomon replied that he needed discernment in order to govern the people. This unselfish request pleased God, who also promised him wealth and (if he obeyed God’s laws) long life.
A story of how Solomon administered justice concerns two mothers with babies born days apart. They were living in a house together. Unfortunately one of the babies died in the night. The two mothers went to Samuel because they could not agree about whose the living baby was. Samuel asked someone to bring a sword. When he said they were to cut the baby in half and give each mother half, one of the mothers was horrified. She was not prepared to let that happen. ‘Don’t kill him. The other woman can have the baby as long as he lives’, she cried.
Solomon knew that this was the true mother of the baby and restored the child to her.
His reputation for wisdom and knowledge spread far and wide.
The story may be found in 1 Kings 3:1-28