In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6; 21:25.

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:26-28.

We live in a world where everyone does what is right in their own eyes. That might be overstated a bit, but truth is subjective, at least regarding moral truth or religious truth. People want to have the authority to make their own moral choices and they need a system that they both control and is flexible enough to make changes on the fly – when their own value system conflicts with their own choices at the time.

On the other side of the coin, therefore we have a judicial system. The Law is an objective framework by which we operate as citizens (or resident aliens). There is no realistic way that a community of people can operate if everyone makes up their own rules and regulations as to how they are going to operate. That is why we have laws against stealing and theft. We have rules for driving on our highways (at least that is what they are supposed to be for) and laws or policies that govern right and wrong in sports, corporate business world, hospitals and so on. The problem, however, is that people are tenacious about bending the rules in their favor; to find loopholes in the system in order to take advantage of ways to get ahead of the competition or find ways to protect themselves from the Law.

We rely on our judicial system to bring people to justice. The law is supposed to be objective, shaped by precedent and in theory, blind to any form of prejudice or discrimination. But rarely have I heard of a verdict in any case where everyone feels like justice was done. The Law, in some ways, is the most objective infrastructure available to carry out justice but it certainly is far from perfect. In fact, it will never get every case correct. We are faced with an inadequate system that has less than perfect results, dispensing justice in ways that often are incomplete.

So, what is the answer to the evil done in our world. Certainly, there are numerous arguments and options about how to “fix” things around us, including the judicial system. We might argue that our judicial system, as inadequate as it might seem to be, is the best set-up in the world. However, when things go badly, like back on May 25, 2020, when George Floyd was killed, there was even demands or proposals to defund the police, an arm of our judicial system that is charged with the duty of keeping the peace and protecting our citizens. In the case of recent school shootings, the killer was killed on site, and, some would argue in one sense, justice was done. But justice does not help when horrific events unfold. Justice can never bring back loved ones; justice can never repair the shattered lives of families; justice cannot bring about reparations that satisfy horrific injustice.

How do we as Christians respond to these things? Very differently! Sometimes there is a huge difference between how we should respond to these things and how we respond to these things. Clearly, our hope and prayer is that justice is done. No one wants to see evil triumph. That is why we have governments to uphold the Law and have judicial systems to carry out justice. Even the Bible considers these components of society as “ordained by God” (Romans 13:1-7). But we also must realize that these are operated by broken, flawed human beings and they will rarely get it correct.

James 4:12 reminds of this: There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? This is, of course, speaking about Christians judging other Christians but the reality is still firm. There is only one Lawgiver and that is God. We absolutely count on the idea that someday God will bring every person to perfect justice. There will be no second-guessing, no hung jury, no appeals and not technicalities in God’s court. He is the one who judges the hearts of men (Heb. 4:12-13). He will bring about perfect justice for everyone. While we earnestly “can’t wait” until God levels perfect justice for true evil, we need to be reminded that God will also deal with us too. The provision that gives us great hope and a strong sense of security is Christ. All who put their faith and confidence in Christ is trusting in him as the one who has satisfied the wrath of God for all our evil and injustices. All our sin, crime, transgressions and injustices have been satisfied by his sacrifice on the cross. For those who are “in Christ” they are safe from God’s ultimate justice – “to destroy both body and soul in hell” (Matt. 10:28). For those who have not surrendered to God through faith in Christ, they will stand before God on their own, with no safety net. They will have no lawyer, no option for appeal and no technical loopholes that will throw God off his commitment to justice. Their punishment will be swift, and it will be done with perfection righteousness.

Christian’s ought to be the best citizens we can be. We need to be committed to upholding the Law and yet responsible to speak into situations when we see evil triumph. We live in a world that is not perfect by a long shot. When we have the opportunity (or willing to take the opportunity) we can let our light shine in such a way that people will see our good works and glorify God who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16). We can walk with those who have been victims, uphold those who are vulnerable and speak for those who are unable. But that is hard when there is so much evil. We could be running day and night for the rest of our lives if we tried to address every evil and every injustice because the world is flooded with it. Fixing, stopping or preventing all injustice is impossible but moving alongside those who have been victimized is possible.

The hope for ultimate justice is the gospel of Jesus. Jesus spent time proclaiming the ultimate call to justice – the gospel! For those who receive the gospel, justice has already been satisfied in Christ; he is our appeal before a holy God. But the greatest hope we offer to those who need justice is the gospel, for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith (Rom. 1:16-17).


In His grace

Pastor Brad.