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.
Read and Reflect
- Read 2 Samuel 11-12:25 and make a mental note of any words, phrases or verses that especially resonate in your heart and mind around the theme of injustice.
- After reading, pause and ask God if there is anything He especially wants you to notice.
- Now repeat the reading and notice what comes to your heart and mind this time. Is it the same or something new?
- The story of D avid and Bathsheba may be very familiar or it may be brand new to you. The sin of injustice is the abuse of power. In what ways did David abuse his power as king?
- How did those around David respond to his abuse of power? Bathsheba? Joab? U riah? Nathan? David himself?
- What was the price of this act of injustice?
- What might be our responsibility as we see or hear of acts of injustice happening around us?
- What should our response be when we commit acts of injustice toward others?
- Read Isaiah 58:1-12, listening to what God might be bringing to your heart and mind around the theme of injustice.
- How are the acts of injustice similar and/or different in this passage from those in story of David and Bathsheba?
- What are some of the stated or implied areas of confrontation found in Isaiah 58:1-12?
- Do any of these areas come close to your own personal life? Take time to confess these areas before God.
- What promises are listed for those who live lives of authentic worship and justice?
- Spend a few final minutes in silence asking and allowing God to guide your thoughts and feelings. Do you notice anything that makes you uncomfortable…anything that is refreshing or disturbing…anything that you are particularly excited about?
Reflect and Act
- What did you notice about God’s heart for those who abuse power?
- What do you think God is specifically communicating about your influence and power over others?
- What one thing 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 as you have thought and prayed about injustice?
- 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