February 22

Psalm 99:1-5

“Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” vs. 4

While the word “equity” occurs many times in scripture, it often goes unnoticed or is presumed to be a synonym for “equality.” In reality it is more related to the idea of justice, and could be thought of as being the spirit of the law, rather than the letter. Equality implies that all people should be treated exactly the same; if we break the rules we should all expect to receive the same consequences. In other words, “Rules are rules, there are no exceptions.” But equity recognizes that since all people do not start from the same position, treating them equally would often result in injustice. Equity takes the differences in our life situations seriously and acknowledges and makes adjustments to imbalances. It’s amazing the psalmist was aware of the need for equity in kingdom living. He even tells us that the Lord is an advocate for such corrections in the course of our life together. Of course not all people in our society are fans of equity–they claim that it’s unfair for some to receive advantages because of their background or heritage. Yet it cannot be denied that some folks have huge disadvantages as their life unfolds–there is no such thing as a level playing field–and if we really are interested in justice, we’ll make sure that the needy will get the boost they need and deserve. Divine equity demands it!

Thought for the Day: Why are affirmative action programs so controversial?

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