Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Justice ...

The movie began with scenes typical of an old western town. The narrator described one night that changed the course of her life, telling of a drifter’s well aimed bullet that left her dad’s body motionless. Then he hurriedly ran away, stealing her dad’s horse. Disgust and reproach could be heard in her voice as she told how he could have just as easily walked away since no one in the town would have stood against Him.

Can you imagine such injustice? How could so many witnesses remain motionless, silent in the shadows? It’s the age old drama of how too many people are afraid, filled with shock, or are simply unwilling to take action. After all, isn’t that what great movies are made of, a conflict where no one will step up when suddenly the main character emerges, willing to set right the wrong that has been suffered? But, is that really how it is supposed to be? What is the responsibility of those who silently observed?

I was reminded of this movie when considering the words the Holy Spirit illuminated to me about Genesis 1:16-17:

"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave the man this warning: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience—for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat its fruit, you will be doomed to die."
The Living Bible

"For its fruit will open your eyes’"… As I pondered these words, it was as though the Holy Spirit stood behind me and spoke: ‘Ever since the eyes of man were opened to evil, man has tried to shut them again.’

It did not take long for many injustices to come to mind, especially the genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews, known as the Holocaust. How many people willingly closed their eyes, unwilling to admit or stand against the evil that unfolded? And what about the many injustices experienced since then? Are there any who will assume the responsibility of opened eyes, taking a right stand? Who will stand for what is right? And who will rightly stand, properly handling the weapons available to us?

"And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an in dispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out."
Ephesians 6:10-18 The Message

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete."

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NIV

Do you know what weapons are available to you? Are you well trained, able to use them for the Lord’s glory? And as situations demand decisions, how will you respond?

Will you hide in the shadows, closing your eyes, refusing responsibility?
See 2 Timothy 1:7; Joshua 1:9; Deuteronomy 31:6-7; Luke 10:19.

Will you exact revenge and thus ineffectively spend your fighting energies?
See 1 Peter 3:8-17; Romans 12:17-21.

Will you charge into battle unarmed?
See Ephesians 6:10-19; 2 Timothy 2:15.

Or will you prevail, having trained well for the battle, wielding the Word of God against all evil?

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV

I mentioned the opening of a movie where a town was riddled by an unscrupulous man. In the story one young woman prevailed against her enemy. But, life is not really like the movies is it? Too many times the happy ending of a movie is short lived and not even close to the reality we face – right? Yet, God’s Word never fails:

"The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly."  Psalm 103:6 NLT

What will you do? Will you close your eyes, refusing the responsibility now upon you? Or will you pick up the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, and go to war?

"Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." 
Ephesians 5:11 NIV

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ …"
Philippians 1:27 NIV

Many Blessings ...

Justice 2011 © Tanja Dufrene

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