February 20, 2009
Dying For Justice
READ: Deut. 24:14-22
You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. —Deuteronomy 24:18
When Presbyterian clergyman Elijah Lovejoy (1802–1837) left the pulpit, he returned to the printing presses in order to reach more people. After witnessing a lynching, Lovejoy committed to fighting the injustice of slavery. His life was threatened by hateful mobs, but this did not stop him: “If by compromise is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more than I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post.” Four days after these words, he was killed at the hands of another angry mob.
Concern about justice for the oppressed is evident throughout Scripture. It was especially clear when God established the rules for His covenant people after they were released from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 24:18-22). Moses emphasized concern for the underprivileged (Ex. 22:22-27; 23:6-9; Lev. 19:9-10). Repeatedly, the Israelites were reminded that they had been slaves in Egypt and should deal justly with the underprivileged in their community. They were to love strangers (“aliens”) because God loves them, and the Israelites had themselves been aliens in Egypt (Ex. 23:9; Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:17-19).
God desires that His people affirm the supreme worth of every individual by fighting against injustice. — Marvin Williams
Open my eyes, Lord, to people around me,
Help me to see them as You do above;
Give me the wisdom and strength to take action
So others may see the depth of Your love. —K. De Haan
Standing for justice means fighting against injustice.