Do You Hear the Waterfall In the Chaos?

But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:24

This one verse of scripture is an oasis. The prophet, Amos, speaks God's word that the day of the Lord is at hand, and what a day of trembling it is. God is fed up with the behavior of the Israelites. They observe religious ceremonies, pious and confident, yet they steal from the poor. They have no fear of God, who now vehemently rejects their superficial offerings. Amos describes a judgment day that seems straight out of big-budget Hollywood--lion roars, bear attacks, and serpent sightings (If you don't believe me--read all of chapter 5 in Amos!). But amid the warnings is the gentleness of water in verse 24. No matter how dire judgment seems, there is the promise of peace. A world that has been unjust begins to fill with waters of justice and righteousness. What a beautiful promise that justice and righteousness naturally emerge amid the chaos.

We've heard a lot about justice this week as the trial of Casey Anthony has been the buzz among many. I've witnessed a wide variety of reactions to her acquittal, from anger to disgust to relief. Anyone who followed the case probably feels that he or she gained enough information on the case to make a judgment call on (a) whether or not she's guilty and (b) whether the jury was right or wrong in their acquittal.

Anytime we feel that sort of power to make a judgment call, it's time to sit down with our friend, Amos, and his other prophetic friends. The Scriptures remind us that ultimate justice flows naturally and peacefully from God. Righteousness stems from the cross of Jesus Christ. And God is the Judge--not you, and not I.

Yes, we are entitled to our opinions. What happened to Caylee Anthony was horrific, and we should be angry any time a child is harmed. But now that this particular criminal trial is over, let us not get stuck in the anger or the relief of the moment, whatever your opinion might be. Instead, let us look for the gentle stream amid the darkness. Let us give thanks that in God's kingdom, we are not the ones who administer justice. Let our prayer move from those of anger & resentment to cries of, "Come Lord Jesus. Quickly, and always."

grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian

If you would like to read further theological reflections on justice and the Casey Anthony case, visit this article at Relevant Magazine.