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So, what is justice? In Hebrew, it is best understood with righteousness. The word law is there to guide our path:
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil men, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD (The Great I AM–Being; Brahman–primordial being in Sanscrit), and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream that bear fruit at the right time and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do….The righteous are guided and protected by the LORD (The Great I AM–Being; Brahman–primordial being in Sanscrit), but the evil are on the way to their doom. Psalm 1: 1-3, 6.
In secular language, we look to the kindred word law and we find that the law is legal but not neccessarily logical. One reason for this is that laws are written down and built upon, becoming more complex every year as the laws evolve.
Sometimes the spirit of the law is followed and other times it is the letter of the law that we are greeted with. So, what does that mean? You may well ask!
When a law is made, it has the context of society in mind. I have heard of an old law somewhere in North America that a horse thief is to be hanged. It made sense in context of the time, for to deprive a person of that mode of transportation then would mean almost certain death, isolated, alone without food and water. Now, if that law were still active on the books I think we would all agree that it would not be justice nor logical to kill a horse thief now in our culture! However, if you were going by the letter of the law that is what you would have to do. Fortunately, the spirit of the law is normally taken into account by a judge. It is the lawyers’ duties to put all the legal cards on the table for the judge and/or jury if and when an issue goes to trial.
The other cousin to righteousness and justice is mercy. You then receive a greater picture of what “Law” means to the Great Being, the LORD. A contrite heart is always heeded. None of those words in Hebrew have a proper understanding of meaning without the other two to prop it up: it is a trinity of words to explain God’s Law.
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