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Logo of InVerse, 3rd Quarter 2019:

04-Mercy and Justice in Psalms and Proverbs

Israel Ramos Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Sikhu Daco


How does the social justice movement relate to Christian principles?



  • July 27, 2019
    9:30 AM

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We've heard songs about love and about happiness and about summertime and but what about songs about justice will find on this episode of inverse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to IN THE BIBLE based conversation on my principles contemporary issues and thought provoking. Now here's your host just until within their. Friends welcome to in verse we are in a special segment for 13 weeks studying the topics of justice and mercy throughout the Bible on this office so we are looking at the Book of Psalms which was basically the hymn book for the ancient Hebrew so with me today industry Israel and Sebastian who are all are now in the lyricists and their own right and we're going to be looking at different songs in the Bible Amen so we need some prayer Amen amen I mean we're going to be the rap and we're going to be singing in you know already and maybe just some Christmas gifts so secret can you pray for us and we do bible verse and get into scripture let's pray loving father with thankful that you are a God of justice and thankful that when we see injustice all over and everywhere we can have the confidence that you care and those who study you would we pray that our hearts would be drawn closer to you that would gain a deeper understanding and a knowledge of who you are that would transform our lives we pray these things in your name Amen Amen Amen it's going to songs $82.00 each of us are from verse one through 4 in Israel can you read those verses for I was not his it. Was for you who you are Israel not I thank you. Thank you so I was. All right Psalms 82 verse one God stands in the congregation of the mighty he judges among the gods how long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked defend the poor and the fatherless do justice to the afflicted and the needy deliver the poor and the needy freed them from the hand of the wicked All right Sebastian what's going on here not just in this but you see this theme throughout the Psalms. The books elaborate on this for I think what you're seeing is is a prayer for justice right for gone to intervene on behalf of those who are oppressed and to make sure that what has now been made out of whack by wicked evil sinful men God wants to restore that is he's praying to God for them or is he praying on their B. I mean what what is really really interesting on behalf of those who are oppressed because when you look at verse 2 he says How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked and he's pleading to God to defend right he's inviting God to come into the situation so he really may not be oppressed himself but he's taken it upon himself in his heart that the injustice that he sees he brings that to God and it's a very interesting prayer because we know that God knows all things but yet in still sometimes it can feel as if God is ignoring or God is overlooking or God is not really taking action the way that we human beings expect God to take action and his answer to that is not to go into discouragement or to doubt gone to but to bring a very passionate prayer in plea to go on is that we love so some of the form of this and a couple episodes I believe will look at the prophets and how the prophets are spokes spokes person for God and in asking and demanding or preaching I should say to the people for justice and for mercy but here we have a song we have poetry. Let's explain the form of the law school what's cool about this is the fact that here you have a person a human being who is speaking this way to God and and and the crazy thing is that God doesn't respond by wiping this person away right I mean can you imagine can you imagine if someone says if someone comes to you and says How long will you judge unjustly You're like a judge and someone comes in and says Hey how long are you going to judge unjustly it's like you know. This is something like my kids would tell me you know at home here how come you're so mean right what when are you going to become a nice dad. Yeah they'll say these things in kind of the words but you know they'll come to me until they have a mis understanding of my character or a misunderstanding of the situation and and the thoughts that go through my mind are and you are a child you don't even know what's going on and you're coming here with your little complaint God can respond to. Us in that way but he does it he listens and not just in songs but you have this throughout the Bible in the book of a back of the back of his going to do something similar where he's asking God how long will you hear how long will you not listen and so here you have an elementary we have a picture of even the justice of God and that he allows us to present our case and to be ourselves in present the case without him prematurely you know or not prematurely but without him rebuking or punishing. David for having those starts to begin with for expressing those thoughts could it be also in verse 3 and 4 and then this is what God is saying to us you know I was actually thinking this goes beyond the scope of the verses that we read but by the end of the chapter where the Sama says arise Oh God judge the earth for you shall inherit all that is going back to God. He directs this plea that God arise and judge the earth which makes me think about in the beginning way saying about an injustice and not defending the poor and the fatherless and calling for those to defend the point the father's It seems like he's calling for God's people to be a part of this action of showing justice and showing mercy to the poor to the fatherless the flick to them the need to deliver them and free them from the hand of the Wiccan somebody to really to me I see a lot of language about justice and judgment going on today in a day and age we are not so. Favorable towards. Judgment we want to get away from me are you judging me stop judging me we we want to just do our own thing but here it's the Psalmist is pleading for judgment he's looking forward to that day when God will not be silent and the judgment will be will be will be executed throughout the land but I think I think it's also not only is the man you know with a soft in this Psalm bringing it to God But I also feel like God put it in his heart to do that he's also speaking on behalf of God to rulers to people in positions so it's almost like you know he's coming to God and how long will you judge unjustly you may feel that way but I also feel that God is speaking through him and it's put that burden into his heart because when you when you look at how we we may feel about justice in our world today you know you could easily understand how God could put that in someone's heart to go to someone who is not behaving justly in their position as a judge right as a DA as a police officer as whatever you say look you're not operating justly you know and in in this sense God expects people whom he has given positions of responsibility to execute justice just as he would execute you know given his position in the 40 in the universe the perspective of Justice is also interesting it says defend the poor in the fatherless do justice to the afflicted and the needy Normally when we think about the afflicted the needy we're not thinking about justice but we're thinking about mercy right if someone's in need we need to help them when you have mercy on them and so here you have a mingling of these 2 these 2 terms to do mercy or to do justice is to have mercy and I think that's what's expressed in the passage as well so our definition of justice is not necessarily equality but it's the assisting the helping we do we do justly by doing what God would do in that situation which would be to help that's what it means to do just when. It makes me think of a couple. You know when if justice has to do with equitable distribution of what what is rightfully deserved by a person. For to do justice to one who is need is to say that them being needy there is something that is due them you know there is there there is in the New Testament talks about owing no man anything but love you know so that you actually all the needy something like we there's something that we all to them but what we owe to them is from the perspective of who God has created them to be it's in the light of who God is that there is a sense that in sense of justice that is due to somebody that is poor somebody that is needy that I need to participate in because of who God has made them to be so I'm recognizing that your poverty you've been poor and me having means. Yeah it's actually an injunction upon me to do something about it you know there is there's an. American sense like there's a justice that means there's an equitability that needs to come out of that experience that God is calling us the person with means to bring that justice by you're giving in your mercy and I think it's because I think that's profound because in verse 4 it says freed them from the hand of the wicked so clearly wicked is not so much defined in the literal violation of God's explicit commandment as it is a lacking of that spirit of saying you know what I should feel that it's unjust that I have the means and you do not and you sit here in poor and poverty and I sit here in excess I my desire for justice automatically compels me to mercy so I'm going to give because I want this to be equitable I want you to have what I have right I want you to it's just a question it's easy to talk about these things around a round table. And talk and having a good time here but who are the needy who are the fatherless is this On one level to be taken literal the fatherless the widows the needy afflicted but in a practical application. People are watching the show on the social media or on some some hotel in a T.V. on a satellite somewhere and what implication doesn't have for them especially in the form of the song Morning News then yeah well if as if you have the ability to defend then do it said that simply what it means whenever you're in a position whenever you the implication here is that you have the ability to do something about what is going on you're in a position of advantage you're stronger than a person that is being that is attacking someone else so you have the ability to defend here and so that's simply what it means to execute. Justice is to use your God given powers for the sake of helping others who do not have what you have and how does that happen that happens when you recognize that what you have is that not actually yours but it is a Lent and borrowed treasure from God When when we recognize that and then we have the ability to help someone else then we are essentially defending I also I also think about you know in my personal life when I was growing up in Chicago in you had the influence of gangs and this driving your mentality there was a lunch lady you know at my elementary school that my dad wasn't around right and so my mom was working as a single mom all day long so in a sense you're kind of fatherless right you're just kind of rolling through life and whoever is willing to take you under their arm and when you're going to follow that and she saw that the gangs were influencing my behavior how I dress how I interact with people and because of that she came in the lunch line and she would say well I'm not going to serve you food unless your pants are pulled up and your shirts tucked in and all this stuff and you're like man this lady's annoying right but you want to eat and she used the fact that here she was as a lunch lady influencing those young kids not a teacher not a principal but she's like Sebastian you know this is not. She was deliver me from the hand of people who really didn't have my best interests in mind by taking that role not just defending me but also delivering me from their hand by saying this is the correct mindset you're here to learn you're here to do this and that's not you know it looks hard to be bullying people or to say this what I'll do to you if you don't do what I want but in reality true character true value was in behaving this way and she in a sense was executing that kind of mercy and you know when I look at this verse I'm I take a different take maybe you from the rest of you guys and when we come from the back from the break talk about my perspective on Psalms 82 that difference from these 3. Has been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments of feedback you'd like. Leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter Instagram for you to while there join us like us comes up next the handle again is in 1st Bible no states now back to the discussion. Hey welcome back friends we're in Psalms 80 true we're looking at the different songs of the Old Testament and some verse one says God stands in the congregation of the mighty he judges among the gods that that term God should not freak us out it is not talking about the existence of other gods out there but the existence of other powers out there that have the position to provide justice so these are the other kings the rulers the sheriff's as you all mentioned and says that God stands in this congregation of the mighty he judges among these gods God is amongst these authorities and in a verse to it says how long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked so on one level this accusation is to these human leaders who are not judging correctly but to a certain degree it is also the question is pointed to God because of his silence and so there is a level of god you're not doing anything do something and this comes in the form of a song so this is not only a a preach a sermon or what not this comes as like how long do I have to wait and you see that theme all throughout the Bible on Psalms How long do I have to wait how long do I have to wait in the 1st 3 as you guys mention which I totally agree verse 3 and 4 defend the poor do justice deliver free These are talking to these authorities when in a certain way it's also telling God like do something right do something and in verse 5 they do not know they do not understand these are about these these authorities of this world and they said you are gods and all of your children of the most high you have this. Because God gave His position to your children of God but in the end you shall die like men and in the end you show follow one of the princes and in verse 8 the real the real hope is arise Oh god you are the ultimate judge of the earth for you show inherit all nations and this this song that this this the Psalm the soft summer psalmists. This song dude song dude it I don't know who this person is all myth someone. Who does the duty stuff is it's like. Waiting is so hard. And it's the song that this person seeing while waiting for God's justice in as a Christian sometimes we see God's justice right away right through human. Powers sometimes we don't and sometimes we won't see even after death we will see it at the ultimate consummation the 2nd coming of Jesus and that's I mean I don't know I mean someone on one level it's awesome on another level my impatience my childness like your son's like I want it resolved now and it won't be there but the song keeps us there yeah I like or go to some secret especially I like the I guess the tension that comes between and that brought Who between the human injunction and what the responsibility that we have you know to to execute judge justice. And the ultimate responsibility that is God you know because no matter how much justice may bring to situation alternately God is the righteous judgment and one who can write all wrongs but I believe that the beauty of that tension is that when I see injustice and I am in a position to do something about it like Israel spoke about if I am in a position to do something about it then I have a responsibility to absolutely about it but also recognizing there are situations where I am not in a position to do something about it and in this mission in this age of information and you hear about all the stuff going on around the world slavery in different places different types of slavery that are happening in this current in age and you can get tempted to feel powerless you know and even if even if I donate money to help in slavery help in the sex trade or what what is it going to ultimately do because it's such a huge problem the ability to wait on God also means that I can act in the situations where I'm able to and in the situations were. I'm not able to I can trust in a God who I can wait for his judgment that ultimately he will make all things right and then you know and I love what he said just in because you know songs especially in the Bible typically come from experience just right in the whole idea that the profundity of what you just you know kind of summarizing in capsulated in what you said it drives you to the point that you're saying to God how long but actually most of the song is to say you're actually his answer right and the fact that in the end if you don't do it God will do it yet that's right right that's right so this is that is plus a message is inferred in there yes it's true it's like listen justice will come one way or the other yeah and his preferred method is human beings so that while we wait for ultimate true pure justice from God in circumstances that are beyond our human ability we are to wait for God but at the same time we're supposed to be working bringing the little bit of justice is that we can bring where we can and that's kind of the song that reminds us yes ultimately we for God's justice but it is not a license to do nothing right because you are his method you are God's answer to the prayer from the oppressed and the poor and we have the power to clear up God's reputation by taking action in an injustice you wish and we're not just the answer to the to the prayer of the of the of the oppressed we're the answer to God right I'm going to what you were just mentioning right which I thought made a lot of sense it said in verse one it says God stands now and now I see where you're coming from which is actually not in sync but is there for me on the other perspective yes it's as God stands in the congregation of the mighty which are the lower case gods and he judges among the gods and then he's the one that saying God is the one is saying how long will you judge unjustly and so what's what emerges here for me is the fact that God is going to hold and he holds people who have the ability defend but do not defend In other words these lower case God's leaders God holds leaders at a high accountability standard and for those of us who are in a position to quote unquote judge to produce justice in the form of mercy but do not. Those people God will hold accountable to the highest standard and that's essentially what the storm is all is also saying that God is getting further up with the fact that we as his people with positions of power and ability do not take advantage of these gifts to help others which at that moment is the ultimate justice not only are the oppressed being being righted but also those who are doing the oppressing are also being jurors it's a clean sweep on every angle of all and this is why we're waiting and that that that should this that should drive us to wait give us hope and that's built a BIG been built into this song and there's something powerful about using the aesthetic and not not just a polemics but an aesthetic a song to communicate that patients Absolutely I just want to go back to what Israel had said earlier about the who this is speaking to who should defend the poor and the fatherless and yet mentioned before that it's those who are in a position to be able to do something and it reminds me of a story I read about Korea 10 Boom who she grew up when she was growing up she said that her family she never considered her family to be poor because as you grew up her mother every week she would make you know part of soup or should make food and they would go around in the community and distribute the food to the poor people and it's only when she became an adult that she realized looking at their finances and how things were that they were actually poor but when she was growing up she never thought of herself as poor because they were helping the poor people. And it makes it when I read that story just made me think that no matter how awful my situation is that's really what everyone is in a position to help somebody else like there's someone who has a situation that is maybe I am in the worst situation financially but they're in a worse situation emotionally and I'm able to miss. The to them and I all of them that ministry you know so that who who is supposed to defend the poor the fatherless the flicked and the needy that would needy everybody has a need and we are able to meet those needs even when I have my own means and in doing that God actually blesses me you know and as you as as human beings we're never truly fully in the position of the afflicted we may be partially yet in a different sphere we're also in the position of being in the mighty well and so we've got to be careful that we're not pointing the finger too much because we may be on the recipient and on a different a different framework I mean which is a crazy cause that is that is that you have these girls who are a lot of things I was. Going to be visiting because you could be a lower case G. God but you're also in a sense a poor and needy individual and so it's like God is exposed amending you how long will you judge on just when you're so focused on your own pain and I need that's holding you back so it's like here's God likes to use these broken vessels in order to serve and satisfy the thirst of someone else and I think that's such a deep and profound point that God almost wants to bring us outside of our pain which goes back to God Himself who is well sin and rebellion has brought all this pain to God's heart from the very beginning and yet God overlooks his pain right to minister and to serve and so in this sense he's saying again his example his righteousness and what he's presenting he's demanding of humanity again yes you have your pain but you have to look even further beyond that pain to someone else's pain which in the end is going to come back fully to me as you said and I'm going to even it out for everybody for the ruler who was broken in for the one who was poor and needy and was receiving in the most profound picture I can think of that is Jesus Christ you know and at the end of his life in particular you know he's in the garden and get so many all the weight of the. The of the sins of the world are being placed on his shoulders and his disciples are falling asleep and you know he says now the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak you know he's he's on the cross he is dying for us and and he looks at his mother and he cares about going to take care of his mother you know he's in the position of ultimate. Yet he's looking out for his mom. And and other Father forgive them because they don't know what they're doing I mean powerful I think that is the ultimate picture of this Gospel which which points to the fact that every time we do justice and every time we have mercy we are essentially experiencing the would it ultimately means to be like God to me to be Christ like and whenever we have the ability to show to do to others what Crisis done for us we're essentially doing the very work that Jesus did throughout all his life and we're living in a culture today with all the social justice going on there are some biblical principles that underline some forms of post social justice but there's other forms of social justice where it's where so in thrall in being the afflicted position and it's becoming even though it's the lower position it's the position of power in a sense position the pope bit to speak and to point out and this is role reversal when it when in a Christian framework you're becoming more selfish and more more abusive in that position while claiming justice and that's right irony in some of this in a scary because what essentially is happening is you're falling you're finding yourself in pride over your own parents right it's like well I deserve all this attention I deserve this platform because I suffer the most and in reality right you're failing to see what the song is trying to communicate which is but there's someone else yeah right so as much as you know I can say is a black man and what I went through in the city there's other things that you know white kid. We're going through there's other things the Hispanic kids are going throat and this kids are going to really get this going. And so it it kind of be who is us to say that when you when you find yourself overly focusing on your own pain in your own demand for justice you're failing to see the conclusion of the song God is going to take care of you and that confidence is what compels you to be compassionate to the other I wish the ancients kept the notes for these songs it is the medium of a song a song and a psalm that really where God teaches the concepts of hope of patients and ultimate justice so rather than a Songs of happiness and of love and of just having a good time what about the songs of Jesus hopefully been blessed by today's conversation here in verse I know I've been Person include convicted we want to encourage you that's be agents of biblical justice in our society today thanks for joining us we'll see you next week here in verse. You've been listening to in 1st a Bible based conversation with Kelly Williams Israel Rahman's Jared Thomas Sebastian Braxton you could doco and your host Justin can invest is brought to you by the hope channel television that changes night but this and more inspiring episodes visit in various T.V. dot find us on social media has to get this right until next time this isn't 1st.


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