A verse on Justice: Proverbs 31:8-9

I have neglected posting in this category for a while now, my apologies. I’m, as you probably know, very interested in learning a Biblical perspective on the topic of justice. The more I have read the Bible, the more clearly God’s heart for right relationships stands out, and we are not to be passive in seeking to bring about justice. Now a quick disclaimer/caution is well in order. I am very keen on the idea of context. I do not like quotations or verses being used out of context, and I strive to avoid doing the same. I will always try to represent the context as best I can, but I encourage you to read the whole passage that these verses come from. I merely hope that posting verses on this topic will give you a springboard to search it out further.

This verse in Proverbs are sayings that King Lemuel was taught by his mother [1. verse 1]. These verses come at the end of an admonition for Kings to avoid being drunk because ‘drinking makes you forget your responsibilities, and mistreat the poor.’ [2. Verse 5, CEV].

Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8, 9 ESV

God call his leaders to defend the ‘poor and the needy’. They are to be on the side of the oppressed, just as God himself is. We do not live today in a society of kings and monarchs. Surely, however, the principle still applies. Certainly, our governments ought to be concerned with defending the poor and the destitute, and we in the church must be just as concerned with those issues as well.


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