I haven’t blogged much this summer. One of the big reasons: I really am starting to hate being at the computer absorbing so much bad news. It really has seemed like much more than usual this summer. If case you’ve missed out, it’s all rather depressing: war with borderline genocide in Gaza, extremists killing everyone not like them in Iraq, Mark Driscoll’s latest abuses coming to light and his continued refusal to get help, the suicide of Robin Williams and the many harmful things said by some Christians in response.
Category: Psalms and Wisdom
The book of Job wrestles with one of the biggest questions in life: why is it unfair? The story centres around Job, described as a righteous man who has fallen victim to severe and unjust suffering: losing all of his family, his wealth and property, his social standing, his reputation, and suffering a terrible illness. Job is then in dialogue with “friends” discussing why this has happened to him.
Proverbs shares many themes with the Psalms when it comes to justice. The main difference is that more of is aimed toward those who do have some wealth or at least are not in danger of death due to extreme poverty. In other words, most of its target audience are the same class as the majority of people who would be reading this blog. The book is presented as “wisdom” which could be defined largely as the behavioral guidelines for living justly. As with Psalms, I’ll only do a quick sampling of some of its texts and themes here.
Enrique Nardoni in Rise Up, O Judge summarized the view of justice in the Psalms this way:
Basically, it includes or presupposes the idea of order, an order encompassing the whole world and all of humanity. It is the order the Creator established in the world by his will and then expanded in the course of history. But in addition to the idea of established order, justice includes a dynamic dimension, one that is expressed in action in accordance with the established order. Its effect is either to return to others what belongs to them or to restore them to their proper position according to the design of the Creator. In this regard, right order is something not established once and forever but something to be accomplished by both divine and human action. (pp. 122-123)
Many evangelicals will be confused by this, but the first time I even heard of the Proverbs 31 woman was in my second year of university at 20 years old. I remember it, because it came from the video below which was shown at a campus fellowship I attended somewhat regularly.