Many Americans can tell you about the Twin Towers. These are the buildings in New York City the world watched crumble to the ground after a vicious attack by a foreign enemy. The assault was not only deadly to so many, but it also threatened the very ideals of this nation. Life changed dramatically for America after that fateful September day in 2001. Like those two skyscrapers that towered high above the New York City skyline, God has twin towers of His own that stand tall when championed by a nation. Psalm 89:14 tells us those two pillars, justice and righteousness, are foundational to the throne of God. When a nation and a government hold these standards in esteem as the Lord intends, that nation is strong. But when these two pillars are misused, abused or destroyed, the nation cannot stand.
Both justice and righteousness are words that pertain to law. James 4:12 reminds us that “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy.” In society, those given lawmaking tasks are called to establish the rules based on what is fair and right. The laws we see in our country should reflect the laws we see God lay out in His Word because He sets the standard. A problem arises when the standards God has set forth are debated in the public square, lowered by culture and then accepted as a rule by a vote. The result? Sheer chaos as laws promoting evil and wrongdoing, resulting in God allowing the consequences of sin to unfold in the land.
When a government no longer looks to the Lord for its standard of conduct, the Lord allows the people to reap what they sow. When righteousness is divorced from legislation, God will allow the false gods ushered into power to have their way, ripping apart the fibers of strength and protection that come when a nation chooses to follow God’s laws. While the standard is set by God’s righteousness, the right prescription of that standard is found in an equitable and just application. Without justice, righteousness cannot exist.
We often believe that righteousness and justice will come from the White House, but the church should lead the charge in pursuing justice and righteousness in every facet of our lives. As we seek to bring these two pillars of God’s law into every crevice of American society, we should do it with a mindset of mercy, generously serving others in our fight for righteousness and justice. Jesus was the ultimate example of facing an unjust sentence and receiving an undeserved punishment yet demonstrating mercy as He hung on the cross, saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Like Christ, we can also choose to offer compassion in the face of unfairness. As Kingdom Voters, we can elect leaders who will seek justice, righteousness and mercy so that God’s kingdom purposes prevail.
- How would you define justice? Righteousness? Mercy? What makes them different from one another? How do they intersect?
- In what ways have you seen our country distance itself from God’s justice and righteousness? How has culture lowered the standard God set forth? How has that impacted the nation?
Let’s Get Personal
- Why do you think God hates injustice so much? Describe a time in when you have faced injustice in your life or in the life of someone you love.
- Why do you think the church is so central to justice and righteousness in our society? In what ways are you seeing the church moving towards justice and righteousness?
- What is the role of mercy when dealing with injustice and unrighteousness in our systems?
- Jesus faced extreme injustice and unrighteousness by people and government, yet His response was to ask God for forgiveness on behalf of those who were convicting and condemning Him. How is Jesus’ example to be applied in our own lives?
Take the Next Step
- If the church is to be the leader in bringing forth justice and righteousness into our government, how can you play a part in that this week? Share three action steps you could take to encourage justice and righteousness in your community.
- What are some specific ways you can pray for America to move towards the two foundational pillars of justice and righteousness?
- What are some ways you have accepted the culture’s lowered standards over God’s righteous ones when it comes to issues of law? Confess it to one another and ask the Lord to help you accept what He deems as right.
- Want to dig deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Psalm 89:11; James 1:25; 2:13; 4:12; Romans 1:18, 24, 26, 28; 13:1; Ezra 7:25-26; Deuteronomy 1:17; 4:7-8; 15:12-15; 17:6, 18-20; 19:18-19; 32:3-4; Genesis 3:5; Proverbs 8:15; 14:34; Mark 7:8-9; Isaiah 10:1-2; Leviticus 19:15; 25; Exodus 21:16; Ezekiel 16:49; Amos 5:24; Micah 6:8; and Luke 4:18.
Renew Your Mind
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne . . .”