God Requires Justice

The study this quarter focuses on justice as presented in Scriptures from the prophets

and in the reading for Easter Sunday, which is taken from First Corinthians. The prophets

communicated God’s will to the people. They called for repentance and justice.

UNIT 1 • God Requires Justice

This is a five-lesson study from four of the minor prophets. The prophets issue God’s call

for justice in the conduct of human affairs. Amos, Habakkuk, Micah, and Malachi convey that

the laws of God require justice for the poor and the oppressed. The last two lessons from Micah and

Malachi are a study of the responsibilities of leaders for practicing justice.

Lesson 1: March 1, 2020

Called to Accountability

Amos 5:18–24

Often, people ignore or disregard the plight of the disenfranchised. How will

the cause of these disadvantaged be addressed? The prophet  Amos affirms

that the justice and righteousness of God always champion the poor and

oppressed.

 

Lesson 2: March 8, 2020

A Prayer for Justice

Habakkuk 1:1–4, 12–14

People wonder about the seeming prevalence of injustice. How will justice and fairness be

established for all? Habakkuk appeals to God to end wickedness and injustice.

 

Lesson 3: March 15, 2020

Consequences for Injustice

Habakkuk 2:6–14

People seem not to suffer for their unjust actions. When will acts of the unjust be punished?

The psalmist affirms that God will reward the just, and Habakkuk declares that the unjust will

be punished for wickedness.

Lesson 4: March 22, 2019

Corrupt Leaders

Micah 3:1–3, 9–12, 6:6–8

Leaders often struggle with expectations of being examples of justice. How can leaders

become models of justice worthy of emulation?  Micah confronts the leaders of Israel for

their failure to pursue justice and suggests that doing justice should be the basis of their lives.

 

Lesson 5: March 29, 2020

Leading Justly

Malachi 2:1–9, 3:5–6

Just leaders act honorably toward constituents. How do just leaders act toward others?

Malachi admonishes the priests to turn from their wickedness, revere God, and reap a rich

harvest for promoting godly justice.

UNIT 2 • God Promises a Just Kingdom

The lessons for Palm Sunday and Easter examine the promised Messiah as the defender of

justice. In Lesson 8, Esther’s triumph is reviewed as demonstrating the prevailing of God’s

justice. For children, the unit concludes with the narrative from Solomon as an example of

God’s justice while adults study the Lord’s proclamation of the redeemed nation where justice

and righteousness are restored.

Lesson 6: April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday)

God’s Just Servant

Isaiah 42:1–9

People seek a champion of justice. Who can and will defend and uphold the cause

of justice? In Matthew 21, Jesus upholds God’s justice in the Temple, fulfilling Isaiah 42’s

vision of the Messiah.

 

Lesson 7: April 12, 2020 (Easter)

Resurrection Hope

1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 12–14, 20–23, 42–45

People struggle with the probability and possibility of life after death. How can resurrection

from death provide life that is different from what is experienced before death? In 1 Corinthians

and Mark, only life through the resurrection of Christ engenders hope for authentic justice.

Lesson 8: April 19, 2020

Injustice Will Be Punished

Esther 7:1–10

Ignoble people often seem to attain great power and wealth. What evidence is there that

people will receive the recompense their evil deeds deserve? The story of Esther’s triumph

over Haman provides assurance that evil does not prevail.

 

Lesson 9: April 26, 2020

The Lord Loves Justice

Isaiah 61:8–11, 62:2–4

When people feel helpless and angry, they seek help from others. What hope is there that the

conditions of the powerless will be addressed? Solomon’s wise decision confirms that

God loves justice, and Isaiah affirms that the righteous will be vindicated.

UNIT 3 • Called to God’s Work of Justice

This unit has five lessons that explore ways that people are called to participate in God’s work of

justice. Zephaniah presents both a judgment against the wickedness and injustice of Jerusalem and a

vision of restoration. Zechariah calls for a return to God’s ways of justice. In Jeremiah, God’s rigorous

standards for justice are defined and God’s people are given a choice either to repent injustices by

executing justice or to face destruction. Hosea uses early history to call the people to love and justice.

Lesson 10: May 3, 2020

A Vision of Restoration

Zephaniah 3:14–20

Oppression of the poor and powerless seems pervasive in our world. Is there any hope for

reversal of this condition? The prophet Zephaniah proclaims the day of restoration when

God’s people shall be returned to righteousness, justice, and peace.

 

Lesson 11: May 10, 2020

Peace and Justice Reign

Zechariah 8:1–8, 11–17

Sometimes people respond to evil conditions in the world with a sense of hopelessness,

regret, and doom. Where can they find motivation for continuing? The prophet Zechariah

delivers God’s promise of a new world of peace and prosperity for God’s people.

 

Lesson 12: May 17, 2020

Practice Justice

Jeremiah 21:8–14

Evil is pervasive throughout human society. Can people continue to do evil without

consequence? Jeremiah tells us that God is a God of justice and will recompense evil.

Lesson 13: May 24, 2020

Repent of Injustice

Jeremiah 22:1–10

Society often ignores and even condones the oppression of the vulnerable. Will

righteousness be rewarded, and will evil face retribution? Through the prophet

Jeremiah, God exhorts the people either to repent of injustice and deliver those who

are oppressed or to face destruction.

 

Lesson 14: May 31, 2020

Return to Love and Justice

Hosea 11:1–2, 7–10, 12:1–2, 6–14

People often equate prosperity with righteousness. Is prosperity the standard by

which people and society should be judged? Hosea reminds us that love and justice

are God’s standards.