Justice. What first comes into your mind when you read that word? The answer to that question probably depends in large part on your perspective and your experiences in life, but whatever comes to mind first, this section of Psalm 119 helps us see justice from a godly perspective.
For the psalmist, justice begins with agreeing with what God’s word defines as right and good. That isn’t just about saying we agree, though. It’s about walking in the way of justice, not begrudgingly but joyfully. It’s about understanding our own need for grace and mercy and wisdom. Seeing justice from a godly perspective means loving God’s commandments more than anything else, and that requires faith that God is just and that His way is right.
Loving God’s commandments more than anything else and recognizing our own need for God’s mercy leads to a couple of responses to injustice. The psalmist goes on to recognize the danger of being ruled by sin and makes a passionate confession in verse 136, “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” When we have a godly perspective on justice, then we will be brokenhearted when we encounter injustice in the world. The psalmist is moved to tears by the injustice and sin in the world, intensely saddened by and even for those who aren’t walking the path of justice and righteousness. Just a few verses later, the psalmist says to the Lord in verse 139, “My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.” When we have a godly perspective on justice, then we will not only be brokenhearted by injustice, but we will also be zealous to see all things brought in line with God’s righteousness.
So today, let’s pray what the psalmist prays in verse 144, “Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.” Let’s pray that God will help us see what is right and just according to His word. Let’s pray that He will give us understanding and wisdom to live according to His word in this world. Then, let’s do what is just and right.