My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Friday, May 18, 2012
Discernment to Understand Justice
It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
(1 Kings 3:10 NASB)
God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not
asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor
have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself
discernment to understand justice,
(1 Kings 3:11 NASB)
behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you
a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you
before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.
(1 Kings 3:12 NASB)
Solomon was a new and young king and he had the opportunity to ask
God for anything. He didn't ask for "things" for himself but instead
asked that he might have wisdom, or discernment to understand justice.
This was a pleasing answer in God's sight. God gave him what he
requested and Solomon became known as a very wise man.
Often we simply read that Solomon asked for wisdom, but this
translation's language is interesting. "The ability to discern justice!"
We live in a day and age where we shy away from words like "justice"
and specifically "social justice." However, it's fascinating that God
would honor Solomon for making this request so that he would be able to
act justly! The first story which is told later in this chapter is of
the two women who both claim to be the mother of a baby boy. Solomon
ends up with a "just" decision as God helps him to discern who is the real
mother of the child. The people of the kingdom praise him for this
Sadly, we live in a world that does not really understand justice.
What is just, or what is right? In the former Soviet Union we had many
times where I became so frustrated at the corruption and I wondered
whether there was any justice in the land! I remember one instance when
we were purchasing a piece of property for the church and we had an
agreement with the builders. This was a brand new building which was
being built and we were essentially buying in faith -- we were
purchasing "air" six stories up! It was quite a handsome some of money
which was being invested and, they wanted it all in cash. We were
concerned about using cash and asked them if they could provide us
information on how to wire the money directly into their bank account.
It took them weeks to get us the information on how to transfer the
funds. We were able to finally transfer the funds, just days before the
deadline. Sadly, they had not given us the correct information and our
money sat at the Russian Central Bank. We had to work to get it
retrieved electronically because the builders never could figure out how
to give us their correct information. After retrieving the funds
electronically, we had to fly someone to the Regional Office to pick up
the entire amount in cash and bring it into the country. We were one
day late with the payment because of all of the mistakes of the
builders, which had cost us a great deal of money. We went to meet with
the builders about a month after this payment was made and they had a
new document for us. We were being "fined" for making our payment late.
It was a percentage of the entire cost of the project and it was
significant. I remember being so angry and frustrated with them. They
had a young lady in charge of speaking with us so that they would not
have to face us. We tried working through a lawyer and eventually we
were told we could do nothing about it. Either we paid the additional
"fine" or we would lose everything. I remember the day we sat in that
office and I had to sign those papers that I was at fault for the
delayed payment. I told the young woman that this was not justice! She
looked at me and said very honestly, "There is no justice in Russia!" I
wrote this across the bottom of the contract and then signed my name.
This is only one instance in Russia, but it was one of those things
that we faced on a daily basis -- the corruption. I longed for justice!
There are people in our world today who long for justice! There are
those who are the marginalized of our world who are mistreated simply
because of where they live, or to whom they were born, or because of
their nationality, skin color or gender. Things really are not fair! I
wonder what would happen if we, God's people, would join with Solomon
in praying for "discernment to understand justice." Solomon had
discernment to understand justice, and then he took action based on his
discernment. If we are able to discern justice, are we then ready,
willing and able to take action?
Justice is a part of God's nature and this is why it pleased God that
Solomon made this request. Solomon wasn't asking about having earthly
things, but rather he was asking whether he might become more like the
very God who created him. It meant his mind was on the heavenlies!
When we step into issues of justice with God, we cloak ourselves with
the very nature of Christ who was concerned about the injustices that he
saw in the world. The truth is that this is not an easy issue. It's
often difficult to determine exactly where the need lies, or how to get
to the root of the problem. This is why we have to pray for God's
discernment, just as Solomon did. May we have the discernment to
Lord, please help me to know you better each day so that your sense
of justice helps to lead me in the way I respond to the needs in the