Justice; October 10, 2022

Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

Justice is an essential part of any society. In fact, it is one of our innate desires, as expressed in the cry of even small children, “That’s not fair!” Children do need to be taught that actions have consequences, so someone who works harder getting more reward is indeed fair, but the whole concept of justice goes far beyond that. These days we deal a lot with “social justice warriors” who try to “right the world” with forced equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, but that is a perversion of the very concept of justice. In America we are seeing a “Justice Department” targeting political enemies over actual evildoers, and that is certainly a perversion of justice. We are currently seeing some politicians fighting tooth and nail to make it easier to cheat in elections, and that shows a fundamental disregard for justice. It is instructive to consider the Japanese translation of the second half of this verse. It says, “it is destruction to those who practice lawlessness.” Those who despise the law don’t want justice done because they know they will get the brunt of it! To some, this whole topic might not seem “spiritual,” but the Bible is very clear that God is the God of justice. If He weren’t, grace would have no meaning. Those who genuinely follow Him will be active in pursuing justice in society around them, while remembering that God is the ultimate Judge. God is concerned with our individual lives, He is concerned with our families, He is concerned with our courts and our policing and our politics. Too many Christians stop that list with families, if they even get that far! We do need to remember that we can accomplish nothing by ourselves, but we must not forget that God can accomplish anything at all through us. We are to be His instruments of righteousness and justice, for His glory.

I certainly didn’t expect to be so political this morning! For much of my life I largely ignored the wider society around me, being totally self-centered. The more I have matured, the more I have come to understand how everything affects everything else, and since I am blessed to live in a representative democracy, I had better exercise my rights and privileges for the common good. The past decade or more has really opened my eyes to the level of evil that is possible in society as a whole, and it’s not a happy realization. Living in Japan but being able to vote only in America puts me in an odd place, but I am to use my voice and my vote in obedience to the God of Justice and Love, not being deceived by those who would pervert either justice or love. My wife and I have mailed in our votes for next month’s election, but my biggest responsibility is to keep praying that God’s justice would be done, both in the US and in Japan. And for that matter, throughout the world, even as Jesus taught us to pray.

Father, thank You for this reminder. This isn’t exactly a feel-good Word, but it’s an important one. Help me be faithful and consistent as an instrument of Your justice and Your grace, even as I have been a recipient of both of those, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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