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Justicia & a Song by En Espiritu Y En Verdad

Jon Tyson/Unsplash

From Ken Wytsma (The Myth of Equality, p.107):

"The first thing we can distill from this passage [Isaiah 54:17-19] is a definition of justice. The passage beings by using justice and righteousness as synonyms in a format called Hebrew parallelism. In this format, a second phrase underscores and furthers what is said directly prior so that, in an oral culture, an audience will more fully understand the force of a stated truth. For the oral culture, this is equivalent to using boldface and italics.

"There are over thirty-four places where justice and righteousness are used synonymously in Scripture. For example, Proverbs 8:20: 'I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice.' The relationship of the two words is strong; when originally use in the English translations of the Bible, they meant the same thing - roughly, the right relationship between God, self, others, and creation.

"There is a misunderstanding associated with many contemporary translations. The Greek word dikaiosyne is variously translated as 'righteousness' or 'justice.' Where it is translated 'righteousness,' we tend to infer that the passage is talking about moral purity; when it's translated 'justice," we think of right relationships, fairness and equality. But the Greek of the New Testament had just this single word, and its usage almost invariably involved all of these concepts rolled into one. This subtle false dichotomy comes into sharper view when we look at Spanish translations of the Bible. There is no Spanish word for 'righteousness,' so, like the Greek text, it uses one word to cover the large space of our right relationship with God and others. That word is justicia."

I was approached recently by a worship leader for a song idea about who God is in the pursuit of this type of justice. I suggested "Rey de Justicia" by the Mexican worship group En Espiritu Y En Verdad. The song is straight-forward and is a dramatic ballad. Lyrics and English translation below:

Rey de justicia

Rey de verdad

Rey de salvación

Rey de salvación

Yo quiero subir

Al monte de sión

Contigo habitar

Por la eternidad

Tu abriste el camino

Que lleva hacia el padre

Entregaste tu vida

Derramaste tu sangre

Marcaste la historia

Con tu salvación

Quitando el pecado

Que nos separo

Establece tu reino

En nuestras vidas

Asienta tu trono

En nuestros corazones

Y abriste el camino

Que lleva hacia el padre

Entregaste tu vida

Derramaste tu sangre

English translation:

King of justice

King of truth

King of salvation

King of salvation

I want to go up

To the mount of Zion

With you, live for eternity

You opened the way

That leads to the Father

You gave your life

You spilled your blood

You marked the story

With your salvation

Taking away sin

That separated us

Set your kingdom

In our lives

Be seated on your throne

In our hearts

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