This is the third in a 12-part series, “Jesus and justice: An exploration of right relationship.”
I’ve noted in this column that Scripture uses the words “righteousness” and “justice” in ways that denote faithfulness in relationship. The ultimate exemplar of this faithfulness in relationship is God who is shown in Scripture and in life to be both righteous and just, in every sense of those words. For the people of Israel—in biblical times as well as present times—the defining example of God’s righteousness and justice is seen in the Exodus event.
The Exodus event refers to God’s rescue of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the biblical Hebrews) from their political plight of oppression and slavery in Egypt. God’s righteousness extends to the very reason God gets involved in this particular political situation in the first place: God established a covenant with Abraham that also extends promises to his descendants (Genesis 12:1-3), and God does not break covenant promises. That’s righteousness!
Part of the promise extends to God’s protection of Abraham’s descendants so they can be established as a blessing to other people. As in the Exodus, that often has meant that God had to show up in powerful ways to remind us all what “justice” and “faithful relationship” have to do with one another.
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