Justice, love and walking humbly with God

First, “do justice.” This word is always one found in a court of law, but out of the mouth of God justice is always dictated by the concerns of those to whom justice is denied. Israel’s evil actions against house and householder are the very essence of injustice. Such evil actions must stop.

Second, “love hesed.” That Hebrew word is slippery to translate, but beyond all it appears to mean the unbreakable connection that YHWH has with the people. And because of that connection, the people must strive for a similar connection with their neighbors. In short, if one genuinely loves hesed, one will do justice.

Third, “walk humbly with your God,” reads the NRSV, but however traditional that reading may be, the adverb is troubling. Somehow, “humbly” seems to lower the passion of justice and hesed a bit…. The word might also mean “carefully,” or “to give considered attention to another.” We could read, then, “walk attentively with your God.” Be always aware of God’s call for justice, for hesed. We are to be not so much humble as alert, not so much humble as attentive to God’s essential call to us. That is what God wants from us.

Like Amos’s famous rejection of Israel’s worshipping life in favor of “justice and righteousness” like flowing streams (Am 5:21-24), like Isaiah’s rejection of “new moon” and “Sabbath” in favor of seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, pleading for the widow (Is 1:12-17), so Micah joins his fellow prophets in denouncing false worship as a smokescreen for evil; what God wants is justice, only justice.

What questions about Abortion are important for the church to ask if we are to follow God’s call to practice our faith today?

Does it have to do with women?

Does it have to do with requiring parental notification?

Who are the oppressed in this situation?

How does one render justice in the case of unwanted pregnancy?

Who matters?  You?  The child?  The father?  Others?

Let us continue to pray for one another as we struggle to listen and live into these questions and many more this week.

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