Throughout the Old and New Testament, there are testimonies of God looking out for the poor, vulnerable, and defenseless. The Bible tells us that justice a key component to the ministry of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are asked to take on the Biblical view of justice by adopting a Christlike view of right and wrong. We should try to serve the people of the world as Jesus did. How does social justice in modern society, though, fit into those ideals?
Today we define social justice in terms of justly distributing wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Social justice is an extension of God’s love. It means protecting and depending those who cannot defend themselves. Here are important Bible verses that we can learn from.
What is God’s stance on social justice?
There are many Bible verses on God’s view of social justice. God gave us instructs that were clear: find injustices in the world and end them. What can we do as Christians to better support this command?
- “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause” (Isaiah 1:17).
- "The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers" (Proverbs 6:16-19).
- “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 16:20).
- “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8).
- “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15).
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- “He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4).
- “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23).
- “The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love” (Psalm 33:5).
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Does God see us all as equals?
God believes all of us are His children, despite our race, gender, socioeconomic status, and the like. In today’s society, we are quick to ignore injustices against populations we judge as weaker or lesser than. To God, no amount of power or money will make you greater than someone else. God views us all as equals, and therefore should be given the same opportunities by society.
- “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him” (Romans 10:12).
- “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
- "Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him" (John 13:16).
- "A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; all the weights of the bag are His concern" (Proverbs 16:11).
- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" (John 13:34).
- "You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 24:22).
- "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).
What does God say about helping the vulnerable?
In cases of injustice, ignorance is not bliss. God believes those who care about social justice for the poor to be righteous, while those who turn a blind eye as wicked. God calls on us to learn, research, and give aid to the vulnerable populations. It is our duty to defend those who are enslaved by oppression and have them rejoice in the Word of God.
- “A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge” (Proverbs 29:7).
- “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses” (Proverbs 28:27).
- "He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing" (Deuteronomy 10:18).
- “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31).
- "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;" (Isaiah 61:1).
- “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).
God is against oppression of any form. Everyone should be offered equal opportunities for success and growth within a society. Christian can easily fall pray into serving themselves for personal gain, rather than serving the Lord. We must discourage ourselves from only looking out for our well-being, and instead encourage our governments to fight for those who need help.