|President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, look on. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
These words from the book of Amos flashed through my mind as I watched hundreds of people, black and white, march in protest of a Grand Jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for the killing of an unarmed black man. Suddenly, it seems we are back to the days of the Civil Rights Movement when people took to the streets to protest the unfair treatment meted out to them by a justice system that left them feeling marginalized and dehumanized.
As if this were not bad enough, African Americans have been and continue to be the disproportionate victims of violence, poverty, illegitimate births, sickness and disease. We, especially black males, have become an endangered species. The Bible has a lot to say about justice and the way we treat those who are less fortunate. Let's look at some of these verses:
'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Leviticus 19: 15
"Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow." Deuteronomy 27: 19
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Proverbs 27: 9
those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice. Isaiah 29: 21
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5: 24
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off ? Luke 18" 7
As with everything else, the words of the Bible are always relevant, and so is its Author. He is aware of what is taking place and has promised, "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice" (Isaiah 42: 3).
At a time when the majority of us are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with our loved ones, the Garners, the Browns, the Martins and others who have lost loved ones through these senseless slayings are in mourning. To them I say, "Take heart. 'The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed' (Psalm 103: 6). May the Prince of peace comfort and strengthen you at this Christmas time."