Monday, October 12, 2009

Take a Stand for True Righteousness, Part 1

In ancient Israel during the time of the judges it was said that "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17: 6 ESV). What happens to a society where determining what is "right" is left to the individual? In this passage it is a sad story of idolatry, corruption of the priesthood, and theft, all for personal gain. Morality left to individual determination inevitably leads to self-interest and self-preservation. A society cannot long endure where there is no external, objective sense of what is right and what is wrong in how individuals treat their fellow humans. This week I want to explore what it means to take a stand for true righteousness in interpersonal relationships. This will not be about saving righteousness in the sight of God but about fair dealings with one another--horizontal righteousness, if you will.

As God's people we are called to treat others right. The kids in my old neighborhood had a saying that was a variation on the Golden Rule: "Do unto others--then split!" That is the way many people live today. It is evident all around us. Corporate heads take shareholders' money and "split". Then they ask for a government bailout, take the money and "split". It's the "me" generation. Darwinian evolution advocates a selfish, survival of the fittest mentality that focuses on getting what you can when you can. Better to be at the top than the bottom of the food chain. The problem is, this is no way to maintain an orderly society.

God's word has a different plan for society:

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6: 8 ESV)

There is a lot of talk today about "social justice". From a biblical perspective, what does social justice look like? How should I treat my fellow human being? That will be the topic for this week as we examine what it means to take a stand for righteousness.


  1. in regards to how we treat our fellow man, Jesus addressed this in Matthew 25:40 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' He goes on in Matthew 25:45 to say what we DIDN'T do to our brothers we didn't do to Him.

    Maybe we wouldn't need to legislate morality if every trace of God wasn't removed from curriculum in public schools.