The Lord Loves Whatever Is Just and Good

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.

Psalm 33:5

Psalm 33 begins by inviting those who are godly (or righteous) to sing joyful praises to God (v. 1). They are to use musical instruments, played "skillfully," to enhance their worship (vv. 2-3). Then, the psalmist offers a rationale for such praise. Verse 4 emphasizes God's utter truthfulness and trustworthiness. Verse 5 adds, "He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth."

Think of it. The Lord "loves whatever is just and good." The Hebrew word translated here as "whatever is just" is tzedaqa, a word that is sometimes translated as "righteousness" or "justice." It refers to a quality of relationship between people in which all is well, where people treat each other according to God's good directives. The Hebrew word rendered as "[whatever is] good" is mishpat, which is often translated as "justice." Mishpat is used in the Old Testament to describe the decisions of wise judges and the rulings of benevolent kings. It is the quality of leadership for which we yearn in our officials, whether they be in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of government.

But all of us, in one way or another, have the opportunity to exercise tzedaqa and mishpat in our lives. Every time we treat a colleague with kindness, every time we embrace a family member with love, every time we reach out to help one who is needy ... in these and countless other ways, we live according to God's tzedaqa. And God loves it when this happens. Moreover, when we guide our children to make good decisions, when we exercise our authority in the workplace with wisdom and compassion, when we live out our citizenship responsibly ... in these and countless other ways, we demonstrate divine mishpat. And God loves it when this happens.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In your relationships with family and friends, as you do your work each day, do you live in such a way that God loves your behavior? You cannot earn God's favor by your good works, but you can live so as to give God joy. How might you do this today? Tomorrow? The next day?

PRAYER: Thank you, dear Lord, for loving righteousness and justice. Thank you for caring about what I do in my daily life, thus giving me the opportunity to worship you each and every moment. Help me, by your Spirit, to act with justice in all my relationships and to exercise wise, faithful leadership. May I give you joy by the way I live, not just when I'm at church or doing my devotions, but each and every moment of each and every day. Amen.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.