Bible Study: God’s Heart for Justice

The source of this study is the International Justice Mission’s devotional As You Go.

A suggested approach to this study is:

  • Begin in a spirit of prayer, asking for the gift of God’s guidance, wisdom, and love.
  • Enter into a brief period of quiet meditation, seeking to actively listen and submit to God’s Spirit and God’s Word as you open yourself to whatever God wants to communicate to you.
  • Consider, contemplate, and reflect on what God is giving you as you read and meditate on Scripture.  Look for how it may be personalized and integrated into your life.  You may want to record your thoughts in a journal.
  • If you are doing this Bible Study with a group, share your individual reflections.
  • God sends us into the world to be active agents of His love and transformation.  Identify one or two actions you take on behalf of those seeking justice.  Pray! – advocating to God on behalf of the suffering and asking for your own wisdom and strength to exercise a heart for justice.

Bible Selections: Psalm 10 and Luke 4: 10-21

Read and Reflect

  • Read Psalm 10.  Notice any words, phrases or verses that especially resonate in your heart and mind.  Ask God if there is anything He especially wants you to notice.
  • In verse 1, the psalmist wonders why God seems distant to suffering. How do you relate to this question? Do you struggle with the reality of evil and suffering in the world?
  • In verses 2-11, the psalmist describes the perpetrator of injustice. What motivates this person? What does he/she do and to whom do they do it?
  • In verses 12 and 15, the psalmist calls on God. What does he specifically ask for in the prayer?
  • In verses 14, 17 and 18, the psalmist reveals God’s attitude and heart for those who suffer. How would you describe how God feels about injustice, the perpetrator of injustice and the victim of injustice?
  • Read the passage again and notice what comes to your heart and mind this time. Is it the same or something new?
  • Read Luke 4:14 -21 and notice what Jesus did and said when He launched His public ministry. What connections
    do you notice? What questions rise to the surface?
  • This is Jesus’ first public speech and, in a way, it introduces His mission in the world. Where does Jesus get His mission (what does He read)? Whose Spirit is on Him and whose favor is He proclaiming?
  • Describe the mission in your own words and reflect on how Jesus fulfilled this mission. How are we called to continue Jesus’ mission and living proclamation?
  • Ask God to guide your thoughts and feelings. Do you notice anything that makes you uncomfortable, anything that is refreshing or disturbing, or anything that you are particularly excited about? Share these things with God.

Reflect and Act

  • What did you notice about God’s heart for those who suffer and his passion for justice?
  • What do you think God is specifically saying to you about His heart?
  • What stood out to you as you read the scripture passages?
  • What are the one or two action steps you feel God would prompt you to take in the next 24 to 72 hours so that you can continue to hear from Him and/or so that you can begin serving others with what He has given you?

Pray

  • As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that He would remember His love for them and His promise of deliverance.
  • As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that He would restrain the hand of the oppressor and the powerful dynamics of oppression.
  • As you lift to God those who suffer, pray that truth would overcome the deception of lying lips and that people of powerful influence would rise up on behalf of those suffering to stop the hand of injustice.
  • As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that the perpetrators of injustice would be held accountable for their actions so that they cannot harm others.
  • As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that God would draw you ever closer to His heart and grant you wisdom and courage to become the answer to these prayers
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