Social Justice


In Leviticus 19 we read about real social justice. The Lord restates many of the ten commandments, but then goes into some specific laws.

You aren’t to harvest all of your crops. You are to leave some around the edges for the poor to be able to get some food. I’ve always loved this little detail showing God’s care for the poor. We’re all to share, not that everyone has the same, but everyone has what is needed.

A worker is to be paid his daily wage and not have to wait for his money. Where we lived in Macedonia, it was extremely common for bosses to not pay their employees. They could go months without pay.

There was a man who was arrested for digging through the trash to find something to sell because he hadn’t been paid. In prison, they put him on the trash team, picking things up and putting them in dumpsters. When he was released, he found a job that didn’t pay and he ended up back at the dumpsters. This is where we could use some social justice!

In court, you aren’t to give favor to the rich, nor are you to favor the poor. Today being rich is vilified. Someone is not evil because they have a lot of money.

You are to honor your elders and are to treat foreigners as if they were natives. Foreigners were welcomed into the blessing, which had been America’s heritage.

You aren’t to cheat anyone, but are to give them what they paid for.

God cares about people. He cares about how we treat people. A cry for social justice today doesn’t mean God’s will is being done.

Social justice is still justice, right is being done. No one is bowing to another, everyone is treated fairly.

The chapter also repeats the command to “Be holy for I am holy.” We are to be set apart, to be different.

Others may not act in these ways and do these things, but that’s good. You are supposed to be different. You aren’t at a disadvantage because you make the concessions to live uprightly. You are at the greatest advantage; you are being like Jesus.