Friday, April 09, 2010

Scripture: Micah 6:8

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
- Micah 6:8 (NIV)

The word translated as "act justly" is mishpat:

judgment, justice, ordinance
act of deciding a case
place, court, seat of judgment
process, procedure, litigation (before judges)
case, cause (presented for judgment)
sentence, decision (of judgment)
execution (of judgment)
time (of judgment)
justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man)
decision (in law)
right, privilege, due (legal)
proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, plan

The root word is shephat:

to judge, govern, vindicate, punish
to act as law-giver or judge or governor (of God, man) 1a
to rule, govern, judge
to decide controversy (of God, man)
to execute judgment 1a
discriminating (of man) 1a
vindicating 1a
condemning and punishing 1a
at theophanic advent for final judgment
to enter into controversy, plead, have controversy together
to be judged
(Poel) judge, opponent-at-law (participle)

Clearly, part of the equation is to judge -- to punish when necessary.

The word translated as mercy is checed:

1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness
2) a reproach, shame

It comes from the root chacad:

1) to be good, be kind
a) (Hithpael) to show kindness to oneself
2) to be reproached, be ashamed
a) (Piel) to be put to shame, be reproached

So there is a sense not only of goodness and kindness, but of reproach -- presumably for failures in justice, kindness, and goodness.

While I'm too tired to say much, I have an old link I opened this morning which serves as an admirable example of a total lack of justice or mercy, kindness, or even basic human decency:

Anencephaly -- We all lost Faith in this thread

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