Gen. Dwight Eisenhower once said about peace: “Though force can protect in an emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration, and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.” He was restating what others have said, namely, that justice is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of fairness. In ancient Judah, King Jehoshaphat knew that as well. He was king in Judah while wicked Ahab was king in the north. Ahab and Jezebel conspired to kill and steal the vineyard of Naboth. Jehoshaphat saw the sad results when leaders treat people unfairly. He decided that during his rule, justice would prevail. So we read in 2 Chronicles 19, that Jehoshaphat traveled from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim. He encouraged the people to return to the LORD, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges throughout the nation in all the fortified towns, and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the LORD. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.” Today, God calls his people to proclaim, to practice, and to encourage justice. May God give us courage to obey his call.
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