Justice in the Home
One of the primary attributes of God is that He is a God of Justice. Oh yes, He is a God of mercy and compassion, too. But, if He were not just, He would not be God. The Bible says that…
He is called the God of justice. (Isaiah 30:18)
He is known by His justice. (Psalm 9:16; Exodus 7:5; Ezekiel 5:8)
All His ways are justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Proverbs 8:20)
He loves justice. (Psalm 33:5; 37:28)
His throne is established on justice and judgment. (Psalm 89:14; 97:2;
He guards the paths of justice. (Proverbs 2:8)
He is exalted in justice. (Isaiah 5:16)
He lives in justice. (Jeremiah 4:2)
He exercises justice in the earth. (Jeremiah 9:24; Ezekiel 5:8, 15)
He is filled with justice. (Micah 3:8)
He delights in justice. (Jeremiah 9:24)
Because we are created in His likeness, He wants us to be just people. Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” If justice is to be part of our lives, where will it start? God wants it to start in the home.
In the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God said that he would not hide from Abraham what He was going to do. Why? Because of the way he parented his children. Genesis 18:17-19 says, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment…” Abraham ordered his household and trained his family in the ways of justice. Justice is close to God’s heart. It is the foundation of family life. It is the primary principle of parenting.
What is Godly Justice?
Justice is the use of authority to uphold what is right. It is acting as a judge and rendering the proper verdict—God’s verdict. Because justice is missing from many homes today, it is missing in the nation. Often people do not understand justice because they have not experienced it. They have not experienced godly discipline in the home that teaches them right from wrong. They may have been spanked, but out of frustration and anger, and therefore have not understood righteous judgment.
Children need to know true justice growing up or they will never understand who God is. Many people have a god of their own imagination. He is whoever they want Him to be. He is tolerant of whatever they want to do. He has to fit into their ideas. We can all be guilty of falling into this trap. But God is God. He is who He is. We must understand this and give this understanding to our children. We do it by teaching them to have a clear demarcation of what is right and wrong in the sight of God.
What is Parental Justice?
In the book, Surveying the Evidence, the authors state, “If atheism is not normal, why do certain people become unbelievers? First of all, it is well known that the seeds of atheism can be planted early in life. One of the most dangerous contributions a parent can make toward the spiritual delinquency of his child is a failure to instill within him a wholesome respect for authority. If the parent neglects to set the proper example as an authority figure, or refuses to exercise discipline with love, he might well be rejected as an authority-figure by his child, and thus, by transference, the child ultimately may come to disdain all authority, including the Supreme Authority, God.” (1)
The Bible tells us that if we do not discipline our children, we honor them above God. (1 Samuel 2:29 and 3:13)
Children must be taught the clear difference between right and wrong, the clean and the unclean. (2) Jesus said in Luke 16:11, “He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” If our children do not learn justice in the little things of life while they are young, how will they know how to execute justice in bigger things as they grow older? Sadly, many young people, even from “Christian” homes, do not have clear insight of God’s word about conception, the sacredness of life in the womb, morality, purity, and honesty. Because they do not understand justice, they tolerate what God hates.
Our children must understand that justice will be executed for wrong-doing. If not, their judgment will be blurred all through their life. If we do not understand justice, we do not understand the necessity for Christ, the beloved Son of God, to die on the cross, in our place, for our sins. On the cross God’s mercy and justice came together, as they always do. Justice must be fulfilled, but God’s mercy is always available to forgive and embrace when there is repentance.
Examples of Parental Justice
We see more examples of parental justice in the Scriptures. When the angel came to Manoah and his wife to tell them that she would conceive Samson, Manoah asked the Lord, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” (Judges 13:12) The word “order” is mishpat, the Hebrew word for justice. Manoah knew that he needed God’s wisdom to raise him with justice. Unfortunately, their parenting didn’t work too well. Even though they prayed for justice, they didn’t execute it. When Samson wanted a wife from the Philistines instead of one of their own Israelites, they gave into his whim. Samson’s end may have been different if his parents had exercised justice. (Judges 14:1-3)
What kind of an earthly father did God look for when it was time to send His Son to this earth? We would think He would choose a wealthy man who owned a big home and could provide well for His Son who was leaving behind the glory of the heavenly world. Surely He would choose a man of prominence and influence in the community. Perhaps a man of great intellect. No. He looked for a very special quality—a quality that describes who God is. When Matthew 1:19 introduces Joseph, the only quality mentioned is that he is a “just” man. It is obviously the No. 1 requirement for parenting.
We notice that God looked for the same characteristic in everyone who was part of the birth of Jesus. John the Baptist’s parents, Zacharias and Elizabeth were “both righteous (just) before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” (Luke 1:6). John the Baptist himself grew up to be a “just man” like his parents. (Mark 6:20) Simeon was also “just and devout.” The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not die until He had seen the Messiah. The Holy Spirit led him to the temple just as Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to be dedicated and witnessed to him that this was the Christ. This just man took Jesus up in his arms, blessed God and prophesied over him. (Luke 2:25-35)
The Time for Justice is now!
One of the greatest needs of this hour is for a generation of children to rise up who know justice. We need leaders who understand justice. We need men like King David who “reigned over all Israel and administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” (2 Samuel 8:15) We need leaders like Solomon, who rather than ask God for riches for himself, asked for “discernment to understand justice.” (1 Kings 3:11; 2 Chronicles 9:8)
We need young men like Phinehas who was not afraid to take action against evil (Numbers 25:6-15; Psalm 106:30). We need prophets, young and old, who are not afraid to speak the word of the Lord! Amos prophesied, “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate” (Amos 5:15). We need judges in the land who will “justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,” not the other way around as so often happens today (Deuteronomy 25:1, 16).
The “gates” are the legislative capitals where laws and decisions are made for communities, states, and the nation. (3) This is where we need justice to be set up again. But before justice can come to the gates of our cities, it must come to our homes. It starts with parents who command their household in the ways of justice, who do not allow disobedience, rebellion, lies, and deceit to go undisciplined. Parents who abhor evil and love righteousness and who teach their children to do the same.
Justice is an action. The Bible tells us to think justice, seek justice, know justice, talk justice, execute justice, establish justice, preserve justice, follow justice, joy in justice and sing of justice. (2)
God orders the universe with justice and judgment. In the same way, we should order the little universe of our homes. Does that mean that parents rule with an iron rod? That their homes are religious and full of legality? Of course not.
Our homes are to be spheres of love and joy, peace and happiness. They are to be like the first Eden, which means delight. They are to be filled with laughter and fun. They are to be sanctuaries of rest from discord and strife. Justice comes into play when these blessings are violated. A home is no longer a haven when children are disobedient and rebellious. The parents are distressed, the children are unhappy and the atmosphere is dreadful. It is no longer heaven on earth; it is hell. When justice is executed peace reigns again. Children are secure for they have clear boundaries and know the difference between good and evil.
May God anoint us as parents to command our children in the paths of justice.
1) Surveying the Evidence by Wayne Jackson, Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (Apologetics Press, Inc.)
2) No blur about sin:
Leviticus 10:10-11; Psalm 34:14; 97:10; Jeremiah 15:19; Ezekiel 22:26; 44:23; Romans 12:9; Ephesians 5:11-13; 1 John 2:15-17
3) We need Justice in the Gates: We must pray and seek to…
Possess the gates – Genesis 22:17; 24:60
Raise children to speak in the gates - Psalm 127: 4-5
Proclaim wisdom in the gates – Proverbs 8:1-7; 8:1-3; 24:7
Establish righteousness in the gates – Proverbs 14:19
Establish justice in the gates - Amos 5:15
Establish truth and peace in the gates - Zechariah 8:16
Challenge evil in the gates – Exodus 32:26; Jeremiah 7:1-3; 17:19-21
Guard the gates – Nehemiah 11:19
Turn the battle away from the gate – Isaiah 28:5-6
Godly men should be known in the gates – Proverbs 31:23
4) 10 Ways to put Justice into Action:
Think justice – Proverbs 12:5
Seek justice – Isaiah 1:17
Know justice – Jeremiah 5:4; 8:7; Micah 3:1
Talk justice – Psalm 37:30; Proverbs 16:10
Execute justice – Deuteronomy 33:21b; Psalm 106:30; Proverbs 21:3, 15; Jeremiah 7:5-7; 21:12; 22:3; 33:15-16; Ezekiel 5:8, 15; 18:8-9; Zechariah 7:9-10; 8:16
Establish justice – Proverbs 29:4; Amos 5:15
Preserve justice – Isaiah 56:1
Follow justice – Deuteronomy 16:20
Joy in justice – Psalm48:11; Proverbs 21:15
Sing of justice – Psalm 101:1