Read Deuteronomy 16:18-20
18 “Appoint judges and officials for yourselves from each of your tribes in all the towns the Lord your God is giving you. They must judge the people fairly. 19 You must never twist justice or show partiality. Never accept a bribe,for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly. 20 Let true justice prevail,so you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (NLT)
It is a sad twisting of the Christian faith to see it as basically a means of our getting to heaven when we die. Of course that is a central and wonderful truth. But our faith is not merely to do with getting to a future life,it is about life here and now. Heaven truly does matter,but so too does earth.
Texts like this show us that our God is not just interested in our ‘being saved’. He wants us to live as ‘saved’ people. He reminds the people of Israel that they must deal justly with one another. Presumably on the basis that he himself is just. Social injustice grieves him every bit as much as bad language or sexual misconduct or drug taking. We need to beware of confining our idea of ethical behaviour to the personal realm: there is always a wider social component.
We can too easily practise selective morality. We come down hard on the sins we find offensive and go easy on the ones that might not personally affect us. God’s people are to be passionate about justice in all its dimensions. When we pray that his kingdom comes,we are not merely speaking about some heavenly ideal,but about life here and now. We are not merely praying that Jesus returns,but that something of heaven invades and helps change earth. We pray for justice and work for justice right here,right now.