Do What Is Just and Right.
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord.’” – Ezekiel 45:9 NLT
As God continues to give Ezekiel a tour of the Temple in the future Millennial Kingdom, He reminds Ezekiel that things will be different then. Jerusalem will be under the reign and rule of the Messiah. He will sit on the throne of David and rule with righteousness and integrity. He will have a prince who rules under him who will be in charge of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple grounds. This prince will be holy, righteous and just. He will be honest and above-board, ethical in his behavior and just in his administration of his duties – unlike the princes that had ruled in Jerusalem in the years leading up to the nation’s fall to Babylon. For hundreds of years, the leadership in Judah had been characterized by greed, corruption, immorality, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, and disobedience to the laws of God. Even in Ezekiel’s day, the pattern continued. So God tells them, “I’ve put up with you long enough, princes of Israel! Quit bullying and taking advantage of my people. Do what’s just and right for a change” (Ezekiel 45:9 MSG). They were guilty of embezzlement, fraud, graft, and all kinds of corruption. They were taking advantage of the helpless and hopeless. And the corruption of the leadership was infecting the people. Amos describes conditions among the people of Israel this way:
How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. – Amos 5:10-13 NLT
Corruption is contagious. It spreads like a cancer and ends up infecting everyone it touches. Violence, greed, oppression, and injustice go hand-in-hand. A nation with lousy leadership is toxic to its people. And God points out that there is a day coming when lousy leadership will be replaced with righteous, godly leadership. No longer will the leaders take advantage of the people. Righteousness will reign. And God’s point to Ezekiel and the leaders of his day seems to be, if that is the way it is to be in God’s Millennial Kingdom, why not pursue righteous leadership now? Why not rule justly, honestly and righteously in the present if that is the standard for the future? God’s vision of His future kingdom here on earth is a glimpse into His heart. It shows us what He desires. It reveals what is important to Him. Holiness, righteousness, honesty, order, compassion, obedience, responsibility, justice – all these things will exist perfectly in His future kingdom, but they are just as important to God NOW. And while sin and the presence of the enemy make it impossible to practice these things perfectly, we are to pursue them passionately. We are to “do what is just and right” each and every day within those areas over which we have responsibility. Our lives, as believers, are to be little kingdoms of righteousness in the middle of a very dark world. We of all people should be attempting to live holy and set-apart lives, doing what is just and right, so that the world might get a glimpse of what true justice, love and mercy look like. What is important to God in the future is important to God now. So let’s make His priorities our priorities.
Father, one day You will bring justice and righteousness back to the earth. You will set up Your kingdom here on earth. But in the meantime, help us as Your children to live lives that are examples of what it means to do what is just and right. Help us to be living examples of Your kingdom here on earth. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men