Weekly Scripture: Exodus 1:8-21
Lately there has been a lot of conversation in our society about justice. People have different ideas of what justice looks like. We all agree that it is important to live in a just society, but whose definition of a just society will guide us when these definitions are so varied? How would you define justice? What do we need to do as a society to become more just according to your definition of a just society?
For followers of Jesus Christ, justice is advocating for and implementing God’s ways in our personal and communal lives. Not everything that is legal is just. Not everything that is just is universally admired. The Apostle Paul addressed this in his first letter to the Corinthians – a church whose members were using their spiritual freedom to justify their immoral lifestyles. To that church, Paul wrote this: “All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial. All things are lawful, but not all things build up” (1 Corinthians 10:13). What do you think about what Paul is saying? What are some things in our own society that are legal but unjust? How might we as the Church take a stand against those legal, but unjust, realities? In what ways might we encourage ourselves and our neighbors to advocate for God’s ways and implement them in our lives? Remember that, as Christians, we are called to work for the benefit of the common good and to build others up with the way that we live. Perhaps we need to pray for the courage to live according to God’s view of justice, even if it is costly or unpopular.
In our Scripture for this week, Shiphrah and Puah broke the law by not doing what Pharaoh had commanded them to do. However, they upheld the law of God and did what was just. Obedience to the God who joyfully created the lives of those Hebrew babies whom they saved was more important to them than following Pharaoh’s unjust direction. They were working for the common good; they were working to build others up. They were working to promote life. When have you made a decision to follow God’s ways instead of the unjust direction or guidance of others? When have you had to go against the grain of societal expectations to make the right and godly choice? What was this experience like and how did you find the strength and courage to face these moral dilemmas? Following God’s way is not always the easy choice, but it is always the right choice. Trust in God to give you the courage to walk in the ways of justice.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, teach us what is right and true.