“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).
Do you long to become more intimately acquainted with God? If our desire is to delight in the Lord, then He eagerly invites us to know His heart. He beckons us to come close and learn what stirs His passions. When we come to understand what He treasures, we will more profoundly understand who He is.
This verse feature three tenets precious to Him: steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. As we take time meditating on these, He will bring us deeper into the revelation of His nature.
- Steadfast Love: Not surprisingly, love comes first in this brief list. God is love. 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. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13, NKJV). Self-sacrificial, life-giving, nurturing, empowering love is the framework out of which the second and third items in His list flow.
- Justice: Out of His love springs forth His justice. I used to consider this word, “justice,” 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, Rom. 12:19).
However, in more recent years, He has blessed me with new insight about this ideal He holds dear. While His retribution on those who mistreat us can certainly fit into the description of His justice, the comprehensive definition is more expansive. Where an injustice has been committed, He steps in, corrects it, disciplines the instigator, brings relief and healing to the pain caused, and even compensates the sufferer for his or her anguish. Simply put, His execution of justice means that He makes right everything that is wrong. “I, the LORD, love justice…” (Is. 61:8a, CEB).
- Righteousness: Out of His love flows His 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 implements 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 you. He rejoices in every moment that He can act on the loving essence of who He is, as He governs your life.
He delights in justice. The fiery passion of His heart is to obliterate the spiritual source of whatever has been hurting you. He savors making twisted things straight for you. He relishes making wrong things right for you. When you cry out to Him, compassion rises up fiercely inside of His heart. He reaches into your painful circumstances, puts a stop to the anguish, and brings you healing. Joy shoots through His being as He restores you to wholeness.
He delights in righteousness. He revels 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 all-encompassing, transcendent comfort. Rejoice, dear child, in coming to know 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!