God protects the paths of those who pursue justice, watching over the lives of those who keep faith with Him. – Proverbs 2:8
It’s easy to read this passage as “God won’t let anything bad happen to you if you pursue justice.” But that isn’t how I understand God’s protection especially in light of the rest of that verse. God watches “over the lives of those who keep faith with him.”
Rather than a hovering guardian swatting away would be trouble, I view this depiction of God and a fellow companion walking along the pothole riddled road of justice. Yes, God protects but more like my wife protects me from the difficulties of my pastoral role. She doesn’t stop the hard things from coming but she is there to make sure they do not consume my heart and mind. She gives me a focal point to concentrate on.
Likewise, God protects us from the hardships of justice seeking by making sure that the attacks that come from the powers and institutions that wish to keep people subjugated do not destroy the fire of love burning deep in our souls. God protects not our bodies but our hearts. I believe that nothing is more precious to God that a creative heart that seeks wholeness.
It is important not to overlook the phrase “those who keep faith with Him.” This brought to my mind again the reality that biblical faith is SO far from an evangelical mindset. Just believe and it’s enough. Faith is active and alive. It isn’t dead intellectual ascent.
God doesn’t need to believe in anything…but God does believe in something.So what is God’s faith? God’s faith is the active hope for unity with his creation. God’s faith is in the divine creation. God’s faith is in our ability to look beyond safety and seek something less secure: freedom for captives, sight for those who cannot see the truth and the healing of wounds that one cannot bear alone. God has faith in you, sons.