“But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord.” (Jer. 9:24, RSV).
Here is the second half of the passage we were digging into yesterday. If we are to glory in the Lord, then He invites us to know His heart. This verse feature three tenets precious to Him: steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. As we meditate on these, He brings us deeper into the revelation of His nature. When we understand what He values, we will more profoundly understand who He is.
- Steadfast Love: Not surprisingly, love comes first in this brief list. God is The one who makes his dwelling place in an atmosphere of love has learned to abide in God. In the famous “Love Chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, love ranks as the very highest virtue, even greater than faith and hope (v. 13). Love is the essence of who God is. Self-sacrificial, life-giving, nurturing, empowering love is the framework out of which the second and third items in His list flow. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13, NKJV).
- Justice: I used to consider this word nearly synonymous with the word vengeance. I thought God’s justice exclusively meant that He would pay our enemies back for hurting us. After all, He says both in the Old Testament and New that “Vengeance is Mine” (Deut. 32:35 and Rom. 12:19).
However, in most recent years, He has blessed me with new insight about this ideal He holds near. While His retribution on those who mistreat us can certainly fit into His justice, the comprehensive definition is more expansive. Simply put, His execution of justice means that He makes right what is wrong. Where an injustice has been committed, He steps in, corrects it, deals with the instigator, brings relief to the pain caused, and even compensates the sufferer for his or her anguish. “I, the LORD, love justice…” (Is. 61:8a, CEB).
- Righteousness: God is inherently upright, moral, and holy. All His ways are good. Everything He does is right. No decision that He renders ever has even the faintest tinge of selfishness to it. No approach that He chooses can ever be even the tiniest bit wrong or harmful. His very core is perfectly pure. As a result, all of His actions are entirely selfless. “God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all” (1 John 1:5b, CEB).
Not only does He share with us that He executes all three of these core values in the earth, but He even goes so far as to say, “for in these I delight.” What a life-changing thing it is to absorb the beautiful motivations of His soul! He delights in steadfast love. He exults in the opportunity to live out His love in relationship with us. He rejoices in every moment that He can act on the loving essence of who He is, as He governs our lives.
He delights in justice. He savors making twisted things straight. He relishes making wrong things right. When His children cry out to Him, compassion rises up fiercely inside of His heart. He reaches into their painful circumstances, puts a stop to the anguish, and brings healing to His treasured ones. Joy shoots through His being as He restores them to wholeness. The fiery passion of His heart is to obliterate the spiritual source of whatever has been hurting you.
He delights in righteousness. He delights in rendering pure-hearted, trustworthy decisions regarding you and your destiny. You can lean completely into the holy motives behind absolutely everything He does in your life. He takes great pleasure in doing you good.
Understanding that a God like this is at the rudder of your ship brings profound comfort. Rejoice in knowing Him more deeply every day. “Let him who glories glory in this!”
How does it impact you to know that your God delights in practicing steadfast love, justice, and righteousness on your behalf? I’d love to hear your thoughts!