Justice #AtoZChallenge

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.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter J

Justice is a word associated in the Bible with fair laws for living and how to deal with people, who do not obey the law. It occurs 130 times in the New International Version of the Bible.

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

J is for Jesus Christ, Joseph of Arimathea and Judas Iscariot

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

Three of the characters, who appear in the Easter story and have names beginning with J, are the subject of this post.

Jesus Christ (also known as Jesus of Nazareth) is the central figure in the Easter story, which tells of his entry into Jerusalem, arrest, trial, execution, burial and resurrection from the dead. The links to the story all appear in my Theme reveal post, but I am including them here at save you a click!

The four accounts in the New Testament are Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24 , John 12-16 (Jesus teaching before his trial and execution) and John 17-21. (The central part of the Easter story and evidence for the resurrection)

Joseph of Arimathea appears in the story after Jesus’ death, when he offered the tomb he had prepared for himself for Jesus burial. Matthew 27: 57-60, Mark 15:42-47 and John 19:38-42 The day this post is published is Low Saturday, when we remember Jesus’ body lying in the tomb.

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples, closest to Jesus. (Letter D) He looked after the purse for Jesus and the group. He has gone down in history (and in the Christian creeds (statements of belief) as Judas, who betrayed Jesus. He had already gone to the chief priests to offer to hand him over to them before they celebrated the Passover meal or Last Supper. Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:1-6  and John 13:18-30

He left during the meal and led the chief priests to Jesus and his disciples in Gethsemane (Letter G). Matthew 26:45-57 and Mark 14:41-53

After he had betrayed Jesus, Judas Iscariot died, although accounts of the manner of his death differ in Matthew’s Gospel and The Acts of the Apostles, which is a continuation of Luke’s gospel. Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:15-19


J is for jigsaw puzzle piece #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z in April Challenge 2019 I have picked some words, which are connected with physical space.

J is for a piece of a jigsaw puzzle;
Its shape may be curved, interlocking or square
To complete a dog without a muzzle
Or perhaps a scene somewhere.

Jigsaw puzzles are usually fun. They have found their way into this theme about physical space, because they are relevant (and J is a difficult letter!). Boxes of jigsaw puzzles take up space in a cupboard. Individual puzzle pieces occupy particular spaces when the puzzle has been completed successfully.

Animals and landscapes are popular themes for jigsaw puzzles. Some puzzles are marketed as being ‘the most difficult’. Now I have been blogging for over 6 years there are not many topics which interest me that I haven’t written something about. Jigsaws feature in my post about what to do in a power outage!

A square and an interlocking puzzle piece

The sorts of power that we rely on in the developed world are not always available. Electricity may fail in bad weather as power-lines are damaged by wind or snow. There may be shortages of other fuels due to all sorts of factors, mainly political.

One thing that Christians believe is that God is powerful. If you clicked the links in my post for the letter I you may have read about God demonstrating his power to the people of Israel. That was a long time ago. The verse of the day on Bible Gateway as I prepare this post in advance is Romans 15:13.

It is a prayer that the followers of Jesus Christ in Rome, will overflow with (love, joy and) hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. St Paul was writing to people who were risking imprisonment and even death for their faith. Yet he believed that God’s power could give them hope. The letter to the church at Rome is the sixth book in the New Testament.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Bible, the first four books of the New Testament are the gospels, which tell the good news about Jesus Christ in four different ways. The first three include many of the same incidents and are called the synoptic gospels, meaning from the same viewpoint. St John’s gospel is more reflective. The fifth book is the sequel to St Luke’s gospel – the Acts of the Apostles. This is a very exciting, action-packed book about what the early Christians did after Jesus had ascended into heaven and they had received the Holy Spirit.

Reading the Bible has many things in common with solving a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes stories from different parts of the Bible only make sense when looked at in the context of what has gone before. Individual jigsaw puzzle pieces do not tell us much about the whole picture. They have to be viewed in context. Studying the Bible or doing a jigsaw puzzle with friends can be fun.

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