Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalms 97:2).
What is the foundation of God’s throne? Righteousness and justice. Righteousness is His standard of morality and holiness. Justice is how God applies that standard impartially to everyone. It may seem basic to you, but without righteousness and justice, what kind of “throne” do you have?
This is the foundation of the Messiah’s kingdom. Look at Isaiah’s prophecy:
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level (plumb line); then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters will overflow the secret place (Isaiah 28:16-17).
What is the function of a plumb line? It makes sure the walls are built straight up. Righteousness (God’s moral code) is the plumb line in Jesus’ kingdom (the church). Without God’s standard of morality, the walls of any kingdom will be crooked. The measuring line in Jesus’ kingdom is justice. It is applied to everyone impartially and equally. No one gets preferential treatment. There isn’t someone who can buy off Jesus and escape justice. With Jesus, there isn’t a different standard for the rich person and the poor person.
Note that the “refuge of lies” and the “secret place” are swept away in the Messiah’s kingdom. There’s no getting away with it or explaining it away with Jesus. In His kingdom, there is no place to hide from His light that exposes the darkness.
Righteousness and Justice
You see the prophets of God repeatedly cry out about the lack of these two foundational qualities in a nation. Amos to me is the most notable. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoted Amos during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.
“But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
If God’s standards (righteousness) are lacking in a land, the people will groan:
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan (Proverbs 29:2).
If God’s standards are not applied impartially (justice), the nation will become unstable.
The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it (Proverbs 29:4).
Men, let us keep always in mind what is foundational to any home, congregation, business or nation. If righteousness and justice are God’s foundation, then they must be ours as well. No house will stand on any other foundation.
To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).