"Right Just Fair"
(Updated 1/4/2016) Nobody would claim that their pet dog, cat, horse longs for righteousness justice and fairness, yet the fact that this aspiration is sometimes seen, or felt in our hearts, - at the very least sets us apart from animals, and I believe evidences that we aspire for these value because we are created in the image of God. Most would agree that in society at large love of money, position, power and the cares of life have choked the values expressed in the ideals of righteousness justice and fairness, we become like the animals- survival of the fittest. Then I see a pope washing the feet of Muslim refugees, (Easter 2016) or I remember after the Enniskillen bombing (1987) watching a father offering forgiveness to those who had just been responsible for the death of his child.
I discovered the expression "Right Just Fair" after a prolonged period of reading the Bible and in particular the book of Proverbs which dates back hundreds of years before the time Jesus lived in Israel. Most people are not regularly reading the Bible because they believe it is irrelevant. Some allege that the Bible is a construction rewritten after events and used as a method of gaining control over those who will not think for themselves. There is some truth in these accusations in that scholars tell us of extra bits added, history shows how the church in Europe used a mixture of religon and violence to regulate society for political gain, and to this day there are those who justify their actions by their interrpretation of the Bible. However it is a matter of fact that the Bible represents a snapshot of between 66 to around 70 "wittness statements" by Jewish writers put ino a "library" around 300 to 350 AD because at the time each of these writers were believed to have received inspiration from God. It is this collection that has become known as "The Bible". The problem is that many have sought to make the Bible in itself God.
Proverbs is packed with practical guidance, eg do not go guarantor on loans, dont wear yourself out to get rich, provide for your family, the importance of achieving our dreams, and mental damage when our hopes are deferred. There are 31 chapters so one for each day of the month. After many readings I became impacted by our motto, in chapter 1 v 3 and chapter 2 v 9 ....."then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity (fairness) and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart....." Then I noticed in Ch 1 v23 (and throughout the book) that wisdom is personal and from a person.
"turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;"
I believe that the "I" is God. Over 30 years I have seen that our Creator is very interested in right just and fair. He is so interested that Jesus came as the "exact representaton of the Father." As Jesus lived "Right", He demonstrated the character of the Father and to become your and my righteousness.
Justice requires that consequences for doing wrong are paid for. Many people find it offensive that Jesus died on a cross. Jesus was however fulfilling various ancient prophecies found in the parts of the Bible written way before Jesus lived in Israel. By reading the entirity of the Bible (wittness statements over thousands of years) it is clear Jesus crucifixion was not an accident He had come to take the consequences of our failures- Death!
Fair, not fair that Jesus was crucified, He was an innocent "lamb to the slaughter". However because Jesus fully satisfied all creation that the price of Justice had been paid God raised Jesus from the dead. This is an extraordinary story but it has not ended, because Jesus will return.
Jesus death was for everybody so that "my spirit" see quote above can be poured out to you and me. The message is not elitist, everybody means all cultures, all religons and none.
Heaven is where everybody does right just fair, and no body remembers our failings - especially God! Jesus has promised a new heaven and a new earth where He is our righteousness justice and fairness. For now Jesus has told us to pray "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" It is totally logical that if you have a childrens nursery you would not welcome a practicing paedofile to join you. It is equally logical that anybody aware of what Jesus has done and choosing to walk away from His spirit and His offer to be our righteousness will therefore have to personally carry the consequences of not living right just and fair, including exclusion from the presence of God. The quotation in proverbs "I will pour out my spirit on you;" is followed by
"Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof;I will also laugh at your calamity;I will mock when your dread comes,When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me and I will not answer;They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord."
I confess when I received the motto all those years ago I had no idea of the depth of meaning, I am still learning.I encourage you read the book of proverbs for yourself, remember a chapter for each day of the month!