Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Mathew 5, 6
On Frankfurt's historic center, the Römerberg, stands the so called justice fountain. It is a landmark of the city, built in 1541. Perched on the fountain the Justitia, a female figure holds a balance and judge's sword.
Justitia is the Latin word for justice. Democracies know the division of powers into legislative, executive and judiciary. Legislation lies within the parliament´s responsibility, the execution of the laws is the government´s, and the control over it lies within independent judges.
In a constitutional state, every citizen can claim his or her right before a court session. Those citizens who are treated unfairly claim their rights. They can demand right justice. Incidentally, this had already been claimed by the apostle Paul. After he and his colleague Silas were arbitrarily victims of brutal torture, he claimed his right: “But Paul said to the officers: They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No, this will not be the case! Let them come personally and escort us out of prison.” (Act 16, 37 + 38)
Paul wanted to be treated fairly. Therefore he demanded to be judged by the city judges as a Roman citizen. It is one of our basic human needs to be treated fairly. Nobody wants to be treated unfairly.
Nobody wants to be discriminated because of his color or his religion or because of his gender.
Is God fair? Yes, the Bible testifies. Psalm 11:7 says “For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice.”
God is not only just but he loves justice! He wants people to treat each other fairly. The example of the balance shows it. Justitia on the justice fountain in Frankfurt carries a balance in her hand. That means equal rights for all, equal measure for all. Proverbs 20:10 lets us read what God hates:
Differing weights and differing measures— the Lord detests them both. (Proverbs 20, 10)
God wants people to treat each other fairly. This means for me: Treat other persons careful and responsible. The book of Proverbs in the Bible provides a nice view for it. Just people, says Proverbs 12:10, have a heart for their animals: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the acts of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12, 10)
Undoubtedly atheists can also have a heart for animals and lovingly treat other people. However, God does not have animals in mind, rather he points to his own view of righteousness. And there is a different goal: God seeks the man who does not want to know anything about him. He longs for those who turn their backs on him. He looks for the man who does not want to know anything about him.
Jesus talks about this yearning in a parable that uses animals as an example. It is the story of the lost sheep (Luke 15, 1 ff). God seeks the man who has been lost to him like a shepherd looking for his lost sheep. God is looking for the man who ran away from him. When he has found this one, there will be a great joy in heaven. The angels will celebrate with God! Jesus says: “I tell you that here will be more rejoicing in heaven with God over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
I would feel extremely happy, if you belong to these "99 righteous" who have already been celebrated in heaven! And it would be wonderful if you belong to those "99 righteous" who are hungry and thirsty for God to find this ONE person which Jesus is talking about! This specific one, who is wandering around in the “desert of life” without the good shepherd Jesus Christ. This specific one who may care a lot more for his dog or cat rather than for his sick neighbor. This one who measures with two dimensions - to deal generously with himself and mercilessly with others. This one who always insists on his right and constantly disregards the rights of others. It is precisely these people that God seeks passionately. Because he loves this man as much as the 99 righteous. God's love does not know double standards. He loves the one who wants to live without him as well as everyone else who already belongs to Jesus Christ.
Blessed are those who long for God's righteousness, says Jesus. Happy are those,, who long for the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed are those who have a heart for those which God loves and seeks. Blessed are those who pray for them, and show them God's love.
Nobody deserves through own good deeds to belong to the 99 righteous. It is just due to God´s grace! The judge's sword met his son Jesus on the cross of Golgotha. “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—due to him we have received righteousness and holiness in life. Due to him we are redeemed. ” (1 Corthians 1, 30)
Thank God again and again that he has made you righteous through the Lord Jesus Christ. And love the one, God seeks, in the same way as he was looking for you. Please pray for the one who has not yet experienced God's love.
I wish you a blessed week.