REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on April 24, 2015, is provided by Pastor Jason Sato who, along with his wife Jessica and three young children, serves in Japan as an AMI missionary. He and his wife just planted an English-speaking church in Tokyo.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“What is Behind Our Concern for Justice?”
2 Samuel 4:8b-11 (ESV)
And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.”  But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity,  when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news.  How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?”
A couple years ago, my motionless car was hit by another car in a parking lot. The other driver apologized profusely, and it was clear to all involved that she was at fault. Later, I was shocked to find out through my insurance agent that she claimed I hit her—I was outraged. How dare she lie so blatantly! Her teenage son was in the car, too: What kind of morals was she teaching him? Oh the injustice! Avenge me, oh God!
Now, I definitely got worked up about the whole situation, but was my passion for justice or for myself? To be honest, I was mostly worried about what this might do to my insurance payments, and how much hassle it would be to lose my car for a couple weeks. The righteous justice of God was not really the fuel to my indignation.
David, on the other hand, had a genuine appreciation for justice. Rechab and Baanah essentially tell him, “You are now the king of Israel!” but David is far more concerned about justice. His personal situation calls for joy and thanksgiving, but David zeroes in on the fact that “wicked men have killed a righteous man.” David must have known that Ish-bosheth’s death or exile was the only way he could become king. Yet he would rather stand on the side of justice than ascend to the throne through injustice.
Are we concerned with justice, whether it benefits us or not? What if justice actually runs counter to our comforts and concerns? As we consider building up our bank accounts, advancing in our careers, or succeeding academically, are we concerned more about justice and fairness, or whether we come out on top?
Prayer: Father, I thank You that You love justice and hate evil. I am often tempted to bend the rules or ignore injustice when it will benefit me; so help me to delight in righteousness and justice. Even if it is costly, my reward is to reflect You well. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 27
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 19:5-10 (ESV): And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Question to Consider
- Why does Jesus stop to speak to Zacchaeus, even though he is a sinner?
- As one who defrauded others, what did Zacchaeus formerly care most about?
- When Christ seeks out Zacchaeus, what change of heart takes place in him?
- Jesus singles out Zacchaeus because He has come to seek and save the lost.
- Zacchaeus cared more about his personal wealth than about justice, his social standing, and even God.
- Zacchaeus becomes radically concerned for the poor and for justice.
Reflect on your day. Were there any times when moral issues were gray? If so, how did you come to a decision? Pray that God would grant you wisdom to know and do what is right rather than what is expedient.