Growing up, I idolized the iconic superhero, Batman. I wanted to be him, aside for the dead parents and deep, unending, introspective feelings of vengeance. I wanted to be “nice” Batman.
One aspect nonetheless that I have always admired about Batman is his love for justice. He was even on a wicked awesome team called the “Justice League.”
Saying this, living in a society where fictional superheroes are the ultimate unattainable view of justice sometimes blurs the line of what true, Godly justice looks like. Try and prove me wrong.
Recently in an exposition of the book of Amos, I read over and over just how fed up God gets with injustice. In this entire 9 chapter book, there is little consolation to the Israel, Judah, or any other nation that God promises to destroy for their negligence.
I thank God we live in an Age of Grace. It appears that within the last 10 years, justice has been a top that triumphs over all others.
But this worldly sense of justice starts with what you do and then moves to try fix the question of who you are. Perhaps Christopher Nolan’s Batman highlighted popular perception best when grunting, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
But to God, justice and peripheral ideals do matter. To Israel God spoke through the prophet Amos,
“Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?” ~ Amos 5:22-25
The Israelites could do so much to appease God, nonetheless, not get an inch closer to Him without first having change of heart.
But please my friends, do not try to directly assimilate yourself into this verse.
“Why?” you ask. Because, how we “change” is entirely different from Israel. Their only hope of salvation here was faith in repentance. We however, at the moment of faith, have the opportunity to be “new creatures.” Or as some would have it, “new creations.”
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
Christ has become our righteousness. Christ and His Word have become the glasses by which we see the world and justice comes alive. In Christ, your mind is renewed and you understand that apart from God’s grace, God’s direction, and God’s ultimate promise to bring justice, that true justice a mirage posed by unconverted hopefuls (Romans 12:1-2; Revelations 21).
For the places that justice has yet to illuminate, I pray justice to come quick. But justice comes when prayerfully we shine the spotlight into the sky and see the only true superhero, Christ, come and save the souls of humanity who desperately need the Hero. It is here, empowered, we can move as the Body of Christ and make change.
Optimistically, I pray to see this soon.