Decisions about right and wrong are regularly entrusted to people with a bias against faith. Around the time of Christ’s birth there was no shortage of lipservice to law and tradition. While a few individuals knew that the administration of the Levitocal system could not possibly be God’s idea of righteous judgment the majority was waiting in vain for God to execute justice.
God’s kingdom is not of this world – food, drink and festivals.
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
If there was no heart capable of receiving the will of God as it appeared in the terms of the Sinai covenant the situation in New Testament times was no better. The people knew that theft and violence permeated the temple operations, whether that is in the area of financing the sacrifices or in interpreting the Scriptures. if you really believe that Yeshua was dealing with people who misunderstood what the law said then we can believe too that he should have closed shop – not doing the Father’s business – on the Sabbath.
1 Chronicles 18:14
So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.
The violence of the wise
They loved the law but had no peace. They loved being called “seed of Abraham” but rejected him as the standard-bearer for the human race. The wise became foolish: they kicked Abraham to the curb by not emulating his trust in God, and they traded Moses for a golden calf, and for all the centuries down to the coming of the Christ, no one complied with the covenant.
Her princes within her are roaring lions, Her judges are wolves at evening; They leave nothing for the morning.
This Zephaniah message could be a description of the Pharisees and elders of New Testament times. The greed and inhumanity is still there.
The reason God equips believers with a sound mind – this is not acquired wisdom or theological savvy – is to ensure that reliable decisions are always within reach. One does not have to read or hear Scripture to recognize injustice.
Zephaniah’s description of the leadership continues with terms that show how much had changed little had improved when our Lord evaluated
Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law.
The will of God is written in two places: the Scriptures and the human heart. Contrary to popular opinion God does not put things into our hearts that cannot be tested by the Scriptures. Sorry my friend! It is not the law. That is for bad actors and kids. We have Christ within to move our minds to do God’s will and Scriptures to confirm that we are safe. Justice did not wait to open the graves of the ancients the moment Christ died. Why are we waiting to tell Herod or any other ravening wolf that we have his number. It is likely that Yeshua gave Herod nothing more than eye contact. Christians – leaders or not – hanging out with despots and bigoted scoundrels are waiting in vain. They need to wake up. Social justice matters.
Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.