“The evil do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.”
~Proverbs 28:5 (NRSV).
Many decisions of the court we do not truly understand, lest we have insufficient knowledge of the legal system and such scant knowledge of the Lord. Offenders seem to either get off scot-free or they receive more than their full load of punishment. Victims of crime, on the other hand, never seem to receive full compensation or justice, for time cannot be reversed.
Making Sense Of The Justice System
We may all struggle to make sense of the justice meted out to both criminals and victims, but if we follow God, we trust that there is a method that makes the felt injustice right.
When the proverb above says that those who seek the Lord understand justice completely it means that believers have faith that overall justice is served by the justice system—in Proverbs’ day, the torah: the Hebrew mode of teaching (as opposed to the Torah as Hebrew Law book) taught about righteousness and justice. As a result, the Hebrews recognised the tenets of justice. Believers do too.
This doesn’t mean we accept every judgment emotion free. There are so many things in life that we initially shake our heads at; the believer doesn’t leave it there, though.
Those that seek God with all their hearts understand they must process the emotions and harmonise their reactions, for in this is true dependence on the Lord. They work hard on notions of forgiveness that rely on their personal approach to life. They understand that to not forgive renders them bitter and twisted. The more bitter and twisted we become the less rationality we have in separating justice from injustice.
Making sense of the justice system is simply that; having faith that the superintending system is good for us, even if some judgments seem to betray sense.
Retaining The Broader Perspective
This is a good overall rule to maintain in life: maintaining a good global perspective on matters where the emotions are quickly enrolled is wisdom. It speaks for our balance when we wisely reserve judgment regarding contentious issues, and even those that appear straightforward.
Jesus mentioned in Matthew 11:19 that truth comes relatively late in the piece. We quickly develop our views on many things, but then are forced to re-evaluate many of these views because more truth most often comes to light, later.
Wisdom holds us to good account by calm use of balance as we seek insight to the truth.
It’s easy to become frustrated with the justice system. What seems so hit-and-miss, and a blight on many victims of crime, is a reflection of an imperfect system in an imperfect world.
When we recognise that God is behind the global justice system—the eternal justice system—we can have faith that our justice systems, overall, operate under God.
It comes as a great comfort to us when we trust God to help us in our anger and exasperation. Justice does eventually come. Having a patient faith is infinitely better than becoming bitter and twisted.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.