Righteousness and Justice – God’s Plum and Level

Throughout the Scriptures the people of God, from the servant to the king are measured by their righteousness and justice. These are God’s measuring systems as illustrated in 2 Kings 21:31, “I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab.” And Isaiah picks up the theme in 28:17, “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line.”

RIghteousness is sacrifice in order to lift up another whereas justice is restoring righteousness when it has been put down. The Divine Plum Line checks our motives and our virtical relationship with our Lord who has called us to act as He has revealed Himself, the father to orphans, widows, aliens and the disadvantaged. The Divine Level checks our horizontal relationship with our fellowman, doing our part to put right what once went wrong.

Over and over again Scripture places these two words together, righteousness and justice. Psalm 9:8 says that the Lord, “HE will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” Isaiah says in 9:7 that the Coming Messiah will reign in the coming kingdom, “establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”

The book of Proverbs says that the Fear of the Lord is found in doing what is right, just and fair (1:2-7). 21:3 that “to do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” and in 22:21 that “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” To have wealth, honor and life 23:4 says we must be people of humility which is equated with the Fear of the Lord. In sum, if we are willing to do righteousness and justice, to humble ourselves before God and man we will find life (even if it costs us our own on earth) true prosperity (even if we are poorer because of investing in the lives of others who cannot repay our kindness) and honor before the Lord.

Let us live as if we are being checked to see if we live straight and level lives before our God who keeps accounts. Let us live in righteousness and justice.

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