Watching the news the last few days causes me to wonder if justice is dead. We all want justice to prevail, but can it in the midst of a polarizing political season, deeply opposing gun issues, growing tension over racial differences and escalating civil violence?
Do we really want justice — moral rightness, equity, honor, fairness, fair handling, due reward or treatment; the administration and procedure of law – Yes.
Do we really want everyone to be just — honorable and fair in one’s dealings and actions, consistent with moral right, fair and equitable – Yes.
Justice comes with boundaries: boundaries that are defined by moral uprightness that we must not breech. When just and right boundaries are blurred, and black and white becomes gray, the security that justice provides gives way to insecurity and fear.
Without justice we are at the mercy of arbitrary rule makers and enforcers. When their decisions and actions contradict ours, or other’s, ideas of right and wrong, who do we follow? Do we make and follow our own rules?
Is that where we’ve landed: Each one of us deciding what is honorable and what is dishonorable? Each one defining the true north of his or her own moral compass? Is everything arbitrary and situational? Have we returned to the days of the Biblical Judges — a time when everyone does as he or she sees fit?
Our entire country seems to be in a big fight, and we need someone to come in and settle it. We need someone who sees clearly; someone who protects the innocent, and who justly punishes the wicked.
That person is not a political leader. No human can render justice perfectly because we all have our biases, prejudices and preferences. Scrolling through any social media newsfeed is proof of that; we can’t agree on who the wicked are, let alone how to hold them accountable.
The One we must turn to for true justice is God. Only God is perfectly righteous, and it is his righteousness that is the plumb line for justice. Only God can rightly administer justice and he will do it in his timeframe.
God sees all, knows all, and has a perfect plan that he is accomplishing. God is the only Just Judge who acts perfectly in all that he does. We must trust that he will faithfully uphold justice as we wait on him.
“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18 NIV
“The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment, while continuing their punishment.” 2 Peter 2:9 NIV
Because God is just, the wicked will not win. Because God is just, he will avenge the hurts of his children. Because God is just, the innocent will not be punished. He knows who is in the wrong and who is in the right.
“The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished;” Numbers 14:18a NIV
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say, “and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.” Think again, you fools! When will you finally catch on? Is he deaf—the one who made your ears? Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes? He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you? He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?” — Psalm 94:7-10 NLT
It may seem like the world is falling apart and injustice rules the day, but God has a perfect plan and he is bringing it to fruition. Jesus defeated evil at the cross. The day of wickedness is drawing to an end and when Jesus returns there will be a final judgment.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” – Matthew 16:27 NIV
God’s judgment is pure fair, right and good, it is honorable and moral. His justice is equitable and fair. He will distribute reward and punishment accurately. Because there is nothing arbitrary about God, we can rest in the security that his Word and his character provide.
When the circumstances of the world, and of your life, seem unjust will you place your trust in the justice and righteousness of God. When you want to avenge yourself, will you trust God to act justly on your behalf?
When the world’s arbitrary administration of justice leaves you feeling insecure, will you remember that God knows what is going on in the world, and no one escapes his justice?
There is security in the boundaries that God has established. As we understand more clearly who God is, and who we are in Him, his righteous boundaries become our security in an insecure and unjust world.
This summer (2016) I have chosen to highlight an attribute of God each week in the blog posts. For the entire catalog of attributes, please click on this link: