Tag Archives: justice

Rough Justice

Proverbs 29:15 

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. (NLT)

I have memories of being disciplined as a child at home and at school. There were times when I thought that the punishments were unfair, but there were times when I knew I deserved what I got. Some punishments are no longer legal in the UK, such as the use of corporal punishment in school. In my junior school if the headmaster caught a pupil standing outside a classroom having been sent out for some misdemeanor then his overly large hand usually made contact several times with the backside of the offending pupil. It didn’t matter that the pupil had already been punished by being sent out from the class. At secondary school punishment was more brutal with the use of the cane, again against the backside of an offender. The cane inflicted significant damage breaking the skin. A caning was known as the ‘cuts’ for good reason. One caning was sufficient for me to make sure I never received another.

Detentions were another form of punishment. The ultimate sanction and one level below a caning was the ‘headmaster’s detention.’ When a teacher gave a headmaster’s detention details of the offence were recorded on a special form that had to be taken home and signed by a parent, then returned to the school where a lengthy after school detention took place under the supervision of the headmaster. The signing of the form meant that parents were fully aware of the sins of their offspring, often resulting in further punishment at home because of the shame/disgrace brought upon the family.

The punishments I hated the most were the punishments when I was blamed for something someone else had done. Adults also face miscarriages of justice, and there are men and women who have served years in prison for crimes they did not commit. A television program in the UK called ‘Rough Justice’ has resulted in a number of people being freed from jail, often many years after they were convicted despite being innocent.

It is easy to forget that rough justice is what Jesus faced after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane on trumped up charges. Those responsible for the events leading up to his execution, and especially the man who signed the execution order, were all fully aware of His innocence. Jesus may have died a shameful death, but He didn’t bring shame to His Father at any point during His life or death. In dying a shameful death Jesus brought glory to God and made a way for our shame and disgrace to be removed from God’s memory. Because Jesus accepted rough justice we do not have to face justice at all. And the name for that is grace.

Advertisements

Justice

Proverbs 21:15

“It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.”
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. (NIV)

Following the Rules

It is very easy to not fear a judge if you are obeying all the rules and living a consistent lifestyle.

It should be common sense that to avoid trouble, do not break the rules! Be nice to people!

How hard can that really be? We even expect children to behave and treat others with respect!

God’s Justice

We have made it hard in our world. We see evil being committed and tend to live by the mantra of “an eye for an eye” (Exodus 21, Leviticus 24). We want to get even!

As a world, there is certainly an increase in people who want to live better. The new (and old) mantra is that we can be nice to each other.

The dangerous consequence of this increase in being nice to others is that many people think that doing enough good to others will get them into heaven.

However, according to God’s justice, we can never earn our way into heaven, because one blemish on our record is enough to keep us out. It took God coming to cleanse us of our sin for us to be seen as innocent and righteous. God helps us believe through the Holy Spirit that His Son, Jesus, lived a perfect life, died for the forgiveness of our sins, and rose back to life.

When Jesus returns to the world, He will enact His justice on this world. Without His forgiveness in our lives, we are still seen as “workers of iniquity” and evil. All that will be found in that day is terror and destruction.

With the Holy Spirit leading us in all righteousness, we will find joy in that Day!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your justice. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Help us to live in Your justice and grace, that we may be found righteous in Your sight!


More Pleased

Proverbs 21:3.

“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (KJV). 

Justice and Judgment:

What does the Lord want us to do? To do justice and judgment. Or, as it says in the New Living Translation: “The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices.” That tells us that – contrary to popular belief in the world today – there are certain things that are right and certain things that are wrong. And God wants us to do those things that are right. He wants us to be loving, forgiving and gracious people.

But – what does Solomon mean when he says that doing justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice? What kind of sacrifice is he talking about here?

The Sacrifices:

Under the Old Covenant, when the people would sin, they would have to make a sacrifice to atone for their sin. Under the New Covenant, when we sin, we confess our sins to God and tell Him we’re sorry for what we’ve done, and when we do, He forgives us.

However, some people have taken the grace of God and used it as a license to sin. They think that because God is good and forgiving, they can go out and sin all they want, as long as they make a sacrifice / confess their sins to Him. Some people try to make up for their sin by trying to balance it out with good deeds. Because they feel guilty, they go out and do something good like go to church, worship, fast or pray.

But God is more pleased when we do what is just and right in the first place, rather than going out and doing bad things then having to offer sacrifices to try to make up for our wrongdoings. Yes it’s true that God is gracious and will forgive us when we sin, but we cannot let that be an excuse to be a Sunday Christian, doing our religious duty at church, then forgetting about doing what is just and right the rest of the week.

A Story from Spurgeon:

I think this story by Charles Spurgeon best illustrates our motivation for doing what is just and right, even though God forgives us when we sin:

Spurgeon“There is the story of half-a-dozen boys who had severe fathers, accustomed to beat them within an inch of their lives. Another boy was with them who was well beloved by his parents, and known to do so. These young boys met together to hold a council of war about robbing an orchard. They were all anxious to get about it except the favoured youth, who did not enjoy the proposal. One of them cried out, “You need not be afraid: if our fathers catch us at this work, we shall be half-killed, but your father won’t lay a hand upon you.” The little boy answered, “And do you think because my father is kind to me, that therefore I will do wrong and grieve him? I will do nothing of the sort to my dear father. He is so good to me that I cannot vex him.”


Perverted Justice

Proverbs 17:23

“A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.”
“The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.” -NIV

What “They” Do

Bribes are bad, especially when truth and justice is perverted. That is the main point of this proverb. The wicked man takes a bribe in order to keep justice from going forward.

We’ve seen the movies, read the books, and may have even experienced the results in real life. We are all familiar with what the bad guys typically do. They take money to keep from testifying at a trial. They are given a little off the top to collect a little more from a debtor. They are paid to tell a lie in order to get another bad guy acquitted of a crime. That’s what bad guys do.

I once knew of a pest control company that was bribed to give clearance letters. Builders who wanted to save a few hundred dollars would give fifty to the owner of the company, and in turn he would give the builder a letter stating the new property had been pre-treated for termites. Justice was perverted because the new houses were sold with no protection from termites, and when they did come, the homeowner was usually convinced to pay a large sum to the same pest control company for a termite treatment.

These were bad guys, and that’s what they do.

What “We” Do

What many fail to recognize is the wickedness in their own hearts. It is so easy to judge others, but it is very hard to judge ourselves.

Have you ever given someone money for doing a small job, but then asked the person to not report the money on his tax return? Have you ever said, “If we do this ‘under the table,’ you won’t have to report it, and we’ll both be better off“? If you did, the law was skirted, and justice was perverted. Now who’s the bad guy?

Lord, help us to do what is right at all times, even when doing what is right cost us a little more. Help us to desire justice, not pervert it. 


Demetrius or a Clerk?

Proverbs 29:8

Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.
Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger. (NASB)

Way back in Bible times, specifically in the first decades of the Church after Christ’s ascension into Heaven, there were people who were a bit of rabble-rousers.

In Acts 19 Paul was preaching about Jesus Christ to the people of Ephesus. One of the greatest temples of ancient times, the Temple of Artemis, was in Ephesus, and when the silversmith Demetrius saw many Artemis-worshipers becoming Christ-worshipers he got a mob together. He set their hearts aflame for murder of those who would steal from Artemis (and their pockets, seeing as fewer people would be buying their idols).

When the mob was at a fever pitch, it was a city clerk who talked reason to the people. He calmed them and sent them away.

Who are you?

Galatians chapter five tells us that Christians should live the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control“.

Do you live like Demetrius? Are you a person who only watches out for your own good? Do you insight others when you do not get your way? Do you complain about every little thing, such as French fries that are not hot enough; something over the wrong, cheaper price tag in a store; a customer service person was rude to you for not automatically giving you free things over your mistake; the church carpet is too ugly; or someone may have inadvertently insulted some people group?

Or do you live like Christ? Do you seek to spread love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness? Do you display forgiveness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

Are you a Demetrius or a clerk? Are you a tyrant or a servant?

Dear Lord, give us the grace and strength to be peace-makers wherever we go. By Your Holy Spirit, give us wisdom in every situation.


Justice

Proverbs 21:15

15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. (NIV)

Following the Rules

It is very easy to not fear a judge if you are obeying all the rules and living a consistent lifestyle.

It should be common sense that to avoid trouble, do not break the rules! Be nice to people!

How hard can that really be? We even expect children to behave and treat others with respect!

God’s Justice

We have made it hard in our world. We see evil being committed and tend to live by the mantra of “an eye for an eye” (Exodus 21, Leviticus 24). We want to get even!

As a world, there is certainly an increase in people who want to live better. The new (and old) mantra is that we can be nice to each other.

The dangerous consequence of this increase in being nice to others is that many people think that doing enough good to others will get them into heaven.

However, according to God’s justice, we can never earn our way into heaven, because one blemish on our record is enough to keep us out. It took God coming to cleanse us of our sin for us to be seen as innocent and righteous. God helps us believe through the Holy Spirit that His Son, Jesus, lived a perfect life, died for the forgiveness of our sins, and rose back to life.

When Jesus returns to the world, He will enact His justice on this world. Without His forgiveness in our lives, we are still seen as “workers of iniquity” and evil. All that will be found in that day is terror and destruction.

With the Holy Spirit leading us in all righteousness, we will find joy in that Day!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your justice. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Help us to live in Your justice and grace, that we may be found righteous in Your sight!


More Pleased

Proverbs 21:3.

“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (KJV). 

Justice and Judgment:

What does the Lord want us to do? To do justice and judgment. Or, as it says in the New Living Translation: “The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices.” That tells us that – contrary to popular belief in the world today – there are certain things that are right and certain things that are wrong. And God wants us to do those things that are right. He wants us to be loving, forgiving and gracious people.

But – what does Solomon mean when he says that doing justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice? What kind of sacrifice is he talking about here?

The Sacrifices:

Under the Old Covenant, when the people would sin, they would have to make a sacrifice to atone for their sin. Under the New Covenant, when we sin, we confess our sins to God and tell Him we’re sorry for what we’ve done, and when we do, He forgives us.

However, some people have taken the grace of God and used it as a license to sin. They think that because God is good and forgiving, they can go out and sin all they want, as long as they make a sacrifice / confess their sins to Him. Some people try to make up for their sin by trying to balance it out with good deeds. Because they feel guilty, they go out and do something good like go to church, worship, fast or pray.

But God is more pleased when we do what is just and right in the first place, rather than going out and doing bad things then having to offer sacrifices to try to make up for our wrongdoings. Yes it’s true that God is gracious and will forgive us when we sin, but we cannot let that be an excuse to be a Sunday Christian, doing our religious duty at church, then forgetting about doing what is just and right the rest of the week.

A Story from Spurgeon:

I think this story by Charles Spurgeon best illustrates our motivation for doing what is just and right, even though God forgives us when we sin:

Spurgeon“There is the story of half-a-dozen boys who had severe fathers, accustomed to beat them within an inch of their lives. Another boy was with them who was well beloved by his parents, and known to do so. These young boys met together to hold a council of war about robbing an orchard. They were all anxious to get about it except the favoured youth, who did not enjoy the proposal. One of them cried out, “You need not be afraid: if our fathers catch us at this work, we shall be half-killed, but your father won’t lay a hand upon you.” The little boy answered, “And do you think because my father is kind to me, that therefore I will do wrong and grieve him? I will do nothing of the sort to my dear father. He is so good to me that I cannot vex him.”