At sundown on March 4, Jews all over the world celebrate Purim, the miraculous story of Queen Esther who partnered with the God of justice to reverse an irreversible death sentence against millions of Jews. The Bible says that Jews are not the only ones who are supposed to celebrate this deliverance but all those who "allied themselves with them" (Esther 9:27, NASB).
A few years ago on Jan. 1, the Lord told me that the book of Esther would be my focus for the year. I was in the midst of writing Audacious, a book about child trafficking and how to stop it, so I wasn't sure why He would have me study something that seemed so far from my assignment, but as I read Esther over and over again, God taught me about justice. In fact, He showed me 49 attributes of His justice—all from Esther's story.
This little book, which doesn't even mention God, is all about God's heart for justice—and the lengths He will go to in His quest to use ordinary people like you and me to dismantle entire structures of injustice.
One of the great ideological and spiritual battles of our time is who gets to define justice. That's why it's critical to understand how the God of justice Himself defines it. Whatever injustice is on your heart, no matter how overwhelming it seems, I hope these 49 attributes of God's justice encourage you that He is still looking for Esthers to partner with—ordinary people who will reverse extraordinary injustices, ordinary people such as Esther, you and me:
1. God's justice will provoke a battle. It often makes people "angry," "furious" and even "enraged" (see Esther 1:12, 2:1, 2:21, 3:5). That's because ...
2. God's justice is often opposed to the law and by the law. And ...
3. God's justice upsets the status quo.
4. God's justice loves to work with young and inexperienced people without resumes. He doesn't require years of experience. The stars of this story of deliverance are an orphan and her inexperienced cousin (see Esther 2:7).
5. God's justice often brings quick results and provision (see Esther 2:9).
6. God's justice will require you to go through a period of preparation (see Esther 2:12, 4:15, and 5:1).
7. God's justice surrounds you with a dream team (see Esther 2:15). You may walk into the palace knowing no one and nothing, but God will bring the people to you who will help you.
8. God's justice surrounds you with a dream team that may not look like you'd expect it to. How many young women have eunuchs on their dream team? Esther did. She followed his advice and as a result she "found favor in the eyes of all who saw her" (Esther 2:15, NASB).
9. God's justice is not intimidated by numbers. The word all is mentioned numerous times in Esther 3:1-6. It all may seem hopeless but God's justice can turn it all around.
10. God's justice can result in civil disobedience (see Esther 3:2). Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman even though the king had commanded it. Civil disobedience can take many different forms and does not have to be violent (Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, etc.), although often it is.
11. God's justice can cause you great anguish (see Esther 4:4 and 8:6).
12. God's justice works in partnership with God's people. He usually doesn't make decrees or institute them apart from us (see Esther 4:14).
13. God's justice gives you overwhelming assurance that He will right the wrong—even when you don't have a clue how that will happen (see Esther 4:14).
14. God's justice gives you a plan but it usually tells you only as much about that plan as you need at that moment (see Esther 4:16). It calls you, anoints you, sets you apart, leads you and partners with you—usually without giving you any more information than you need.
15. God's justice gives you miraculous favor in high places or wherever you need it (see Esther 5:1-2).
16. God's justice clothes you with royal robes (see Esther 5:1 and 6:10-11).
17. God's justice calls you to inner courts and high places, and gives you favor in the sight of those in power (see Esther 5:2).
18. God's justice is concerned with what troubles you (see Esther 5:3).
19. God's justice gives you access to unlimited funds that He has set aside to dismantle injustice (see Esther 5:4, 8).
20. God's justice won't let you sleep when you learn about an injustice (see Esther 6:1).
21. God's justice will cause people (even unbelievers) to remember the good things you've done (see Esther 6:1.)
22. God's justice will hide you if necessary as you partner with Him to fight injustice. Haman found out in Esther 3:4 that Mordecai was a Jew, yet God kept the fact that Esther was a Jew from Haman, the king, and everyone else in the palace. No one knew until she told the king in Esther 7:4.
23. God's justice results in a transfer of wealth from those who deny justice to those who work for it (see Esther 8:1-2 and 3:9).
24. God's justice results in faith even when a death order is in effect. Between the time the king gave his original order to kill all the Jews but before his second decree went into effect that Jews could defend themselves, here is what happened: "The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. And in every province and city, wherever the king's command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday" (Esther 8:16, NKJ). Remember, the day still had not come for the Jews to fight; in the natural they did not know how it would turn out, but they knew by the Spirit.
25. God's justice causes unbelievers to believe in Him (see Esther 8:17). How amazing is it that while the death sentence was in effect against the Jews, people were converting to Judaism. That's faith and favor.
26. God's justice causes your enemies to fear you (see Esther 9:2-3).
27. God's justice causes high officials who once persecuted you for being righteous to now help you (see Esther 9:3).
28. God's justice will result in a continual increase of your power and authority (see Esther 9:4).
29. God's justice brings "words of peace and truth" from the throne (Esther 9:30, NKJ), which counter the words of the enemy that bring injustice.
30. God's justice elevates you from obscurity to places of unlimited power so that you can right wrongs (see Esther 10:3).
31. God's justice allows you to affect the welfare of your entire nation (see Esther 10:3).
32. God's justice doesn't operate on your timetable. It may seem like it's taking its sweet time, but when it moves, it moves "quickly" (see Esther 2:9, 5:5, and 6:10).
33. God's justice hears the cries of the oppressed.
34. God's justice means He surrounds Himself with people who have His same heart for justice.
35. God's justice takes what is already in you and crafts a plan to dismantle injustice.
36. God's justice loves using beauty to dismantle the ugliness of evil. God's justice will often be a juxtaposition of beauty and horror. God used Esther's beauty, oil, cosmetics and more to tear down the ugliness of anti-Semitism.
37. God's justice will raise up Mordecais to protect and promote girls and women, Mordecais who refuse to bow down to idols.
38. God's justice can put you in the unusual position of serving with or even over ungodly people, evil rulers and hostile ones.
39. God's justice gives you unprecedented access and the ear of those in high places.
40. God's justice focuses on the big picture.
41. God's justice focuses on the one.
42. God's justice results in miracles.
43. God's justice can reverse even an irreversible death sentence.
44. God's justice will sometimes keep you hidden. You will feel like nothing is happening and that injustice is ruling, but He is working on your behalf behind the scenes—and He's keeping you hidden in the process. At the same time He is exposing wickedness in high places.
45. God's justice will always trump the law because God's justice is based in mercy, not legalism. Mercy always triumphs over judgment.
46. God's justice demands a celebration (see Esther 9:27).
47. God's justice isn't scared by the odds. One person + God = the best odds.
48. God's justice not only rights wrongs but in the process dismantles entire structures that are propping them up—political, cultural, legal and more.
49. God's justice always leads to freedom.
Can one person make a difference? Does the God of justice still look for Esthers? For one person to partner with against all odds, against all injustice, to make a difference, to right a wrong? Yes. He is looking for you.
Adapted from Audacious: The Bold, Brave, Brazen Plan to Shut Down the Child Sex Industry, by Diana Scimone (Peapod Publishing, 2013); used with permission. Diana Scimone is president of the Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking and writes frequently for Charisma.