Daily D – Amos 5:15
Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. AMOS 5:15 (NLT)
Justice is a word tossed around like a Frisbee. If you listen long enough, what you begin to hear is many people do not so much want justice for all, but a little injustice tilted in their favor. No one can deny the realities of injustice and unequal justice. Lack of true justice is a stain, a shame.
How can we get closer to truly just outcomes? There are two parts of the equation. Amos gives them to us here. He says we are to hate evil and to love good. A few weeks ago, our television screens were filled with violence and looting. Anger at evil actions was just. Burning down someone’s business and stealing all his goods was not. We will never achieve true justice by piling on more injustice.
Hate evil. Love good. It is easier to protest than it is to humble ourselves through nonviolent action. Violence is visceral. Nonviolence is durable. Violence is reflexive. Nonviolence is rational. Violence may feel good, but nonviolence does good.
Hate what is evil. Love what is good. We can only turn our courts, our workplaces, our schools, and our communities into places of just outcomes by both hating evil and loving good. Nothing else will work.
Hating evil and loving good requires honest assessment. We need to know and tell the truth about ourselves. We need to know and tell the truth about others. Each of these requires humility. We dare not overstate nor understate the truth. See the hateful acts which cause conflict. Focus on the loving outcome benefiting all concerned.
Justice is not a matter of balancing hate and love. Instead, it is eliminating hate through overcoming love. Hate draws boundaries with red lines. Love breaks down dividing walls. What is the most loving thing we can think or do in each circumstance?
Many ask God to heal our land. This is good. Notice what Amos says in this verse. It is when we hate evil and love good and thereby provide true justice that we experience the possibility of God’s mercy. God-honoring outcomes require God-honoring actions.
We have work to do.
I will hate what is evil, love what is good, and seek justice for all.
Our Father, we need your mercy. Empower us to take the actions necessary to provide justice for all. Strengthen us to hate what is evil and to overcome it with your love. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.