Micah was a prophet called from his hometown of Moresheth to deliver God’s message of judgement against Israel. Corruption and abuse had become the practices of the rich and powerful against the poor. And Micah warned the people of God’s approaching consequences against those oppressing others for their own personal gain. For the Lord is holy and righteous, and He expects the same from His people. And a just God demands justice.
But what does it mean that God is just? It means that He is fair and impartial, and deals justice according to His righteousness. He can neither be bought nor bribed, His Word is true, and His decisions final. “His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Deut. 32:4)
The Lord rules in justice which He tempers with love and grace. And when He deals out His judgement, He stays by our side, loving us through the consequences. Until, through confession and repentance, He faithfully restores us back to Himself. And that same love and grace He extends to us, He wants us to pass on to others.
We are God’s mirror images here on earth, and as His representatives our lives and behavior should reflect His just and holy character. If we are truly following the Lord, we should be practicing justice, loving kindness, and walking in humility. We need to be living testimonies of the fruit of the spirit. Fruits including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
The penalty for our sin is death, and justice cries out for satisfaction. And though God wishes to bless instead of punish us, He must maintain His absolute justice by punishing all sin. Yet because of His great mercy and love, instead of giving us what we deserve, God Himself took our punishment.
He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to serve our sentence on the Cross. And through His sacrifice, Jesus not only satisfied the justice of God, He also made Him both the Just and the Justifier of all who have faith in the Lord. (Rom. 3:23-26)
One day soon Jesus will return to rule His earthly kingdom from the holy city of Jerusalem. His reign will be established, the people will follow His laws, and He will dole out His perfect justice between many nations. (vs. 4:2-3)
But until that time, it is up to us to demonstrate to the world what it means to act justly and to love mercy. What it means to stand up against oppression and abuse of those who cannot stand up for themselves. For as Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us, ”Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.”