For I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him. -Genesis 18:19
Dear members and friends,
There are many characteristics of God proclaimed by traditional Christian theologians. Among the most famous could be these three: omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. Meaning, God is present everywhere, knows everything, and is all powerful. Needless to point out, these three characteristics have been at the center of the Christian problem of evil. However, these characteristics of God proclaimed by traditional Christian theologians are more reflective of the image of God they wanted rather than the characteristics of God found in the Bible. Starting from Genesis, God expresses strong preference for certain qualities in humans, and what qualities are essential to walk on God’s way.
In Genesis 18:19, we read that God lifts righteousness and justice as the means to keep the way of the Lord. Unlike the conventional claim of some theologians, God in the Bible is not interested in punishing people or demanding them to dedicate their entire lives to worshiping God. Rather, God in the Bible is deeply and practically interested in directing and encouraging humans to create a community based on righteousness and justice. The English dictionary defines righteousness as “the quality of being morally right or justifiable,” and justice as “the quality of being fair and reasonable.” If we were to create a community where at least the leaders of the community not only acknowledge, not also embody the moral quality that is justifiable before God, and deal with each other with a sense of fairness and reasonability, such a community would be blessed with the steadfast love of God.
My brothers and sisters in God, our time is certainly very challenging. It seems to be ever harder to discern what is right and wrong, let alone what direction we should aim our lives. However, God in the Bible is very clear since the beginning that our mandate is to build a righteous and just community for all of us.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee