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Justice is Care for the Vulnerable


From Timothy Keller’s post What is Biblical Justice?

This is why, if you look at every place the word (justice) is used in the Old Testament, several classes of persons continually come up. Over and over again, mishpat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor—those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.”

In premodern, agrarian societies, these four groups had no social power. They lived at subsistence level and were only days from starvation if there was any famine, invasion or even minor social unrest. Today, this quartet would be expanded to include the refugee, the migrant worker, the homeless and many single parents and elderly people.

The mishpat, or justness, of a society, according to the Bible, is evaluated by how it treats these groups. Any neglect shown to the needs of the members of this quartet is not called merely a lack of mercy or charity but a violation of justice, of mishpat. God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to “do justice.”



My Thoughts
As I read this article, in my pride, I made a mental list of the institutions and associations I am a part of that address societies needs, then I had a thought, “What am I doing on a daily basis to serve the vulnerable? What is David, not the member of an association, but David, the person wanting to follow Christ’s example, doing for the vulnerable?”

I need to have an answer to this.



I encourage you to read the whole article.