Just is based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair. Justice is
just behavior or treatment. Justice is the quality of being fair and reasonable. Justice is the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this. Justice is the personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword. So how do people know what is just if there isn’t a source of truth? So how do people know what is just if there isn’t a constant value for just? So if there is a constant value and a source of truth, then what keeps people from knowing what is just? If everyone knows what is just then is justice clear? Beyond the definition looking up the difference between just and justice, I came across an article with some interesting perspective to consider. Beyond just the definition of the words it raise the ideas of “Distributive Justice” and “Commutative Justice“. The article points to:
Distributive Justice is that virtue whose object is to distribute rewards and punishments to each one according to his merits, observing a just proportion by comparing one person or fact with another so that neither equal persons have unequal things, nor unequal persons things equal.–fromJust / Justice Defined and Explained
Commutative Justice is that virtue whose object it is to render to every one what belongs to him, as nearly as may be, or that which governs contracts. To render commutative justice, the judge must make an equality between the parties, that no one may be a gainer by another’s loss.–from Just / Justice Defined and Explained
Another comparison that can be done with the word justice is internal vs external where internal justice being a conformity of our will whereas external justice a conformity of our actions to the law which come together to define justice. Exterior justice is the object of jurisprudence; interior justice is the object of morality.
So as you look out at the world do you see just things? As you look out at the world do you see justice? What do you find is present? What do you find is missing? How do you or can you tell the difference? Does it matter who you are? Does it matter who they are? Just vs Justice … ever considered the difference or the connection?
Today’s reading gets started with Leviticus 24.
‘The Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the Lord ’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord ’s presence. “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord . Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord .”
One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the Lord with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They kept the man in custody until the Lord ’s will in the matter should become clear to them. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be put to death. “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death. “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed. “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind. “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death. “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.” After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.’—Leviticus 24
Today’s reading continues into Leviticus 25.
‘While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to him, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord ’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you. Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces. “In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own. In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God. “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.’—Leviticus 25:1-22
Today’s reading next takes us into the book of wisdom with Proverbs 21.
‘The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord ; he guides it wherever he pleases. People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap. The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just. The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road. It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them. If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser. The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them. Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury. Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers. The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich. The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest. It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust. Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give! The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives. A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak. The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act. No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord . The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord .’—Proverbs 21
Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament starting in Mark 14.
‘On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal for you?” So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there. In the evening Jesus arrived with the Twelve. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?” He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.’—Mark 14:12-31
Today’s reading then continues into 2 Corinthians 6.
‘As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!’—2 Corinthians 6:1-13
As we meditate on God’s Word. As we meditate on God’s truth. As we meditate on God’s foundation through Jesus Christ. As we meditate on Jesus as the cornerstone. Let’s pause to consider just and justice before we close with today’s psalm.
Today’s reading closes with Psalms 90.
‘Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered. We wither beneath your anger; we are overwhelmed by your fury. You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all. We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a groan. Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. Who can comprehend the power of your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. O Lord , come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!’—Psalms 90