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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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“