We have all heard this verse many times over but to tell you the truth I rarely see it put into action. If you are following the Duggar situation, you will see that so many people have their own ideas about what is just and none of them involve leading a person back to repentance. Human ideas of what is actually just vary and are very subjective in nature as their form of justice also depends upon the nature of the crime, the age of the victim and the gender as well.
I have been involved in several discussions concerning God’s actions in the OT and to say the least, those people I was discussing with, thought that they were greater than God and could cast judgment upon his actions. Their error was, that they were using a different standard for what is or isn’t just and refused to even consider God’s standard. Their judgment of God’s actions was vastly unfair as they used a standard that fit their way of thinking and did not call into evidence the ‘crimes’ of those punished.
The same thing is happening to the Duggars as they are being vilified by people using myriads of different subjective standards and not one person was using God’s. To top it off, this was a 12-year-old incident which had been handled thus to punish the Duggars today for something that took place long ago and was dealt with is unfair and those actions are not just.
Many people use the victims as their excuse or justification for sticking their noses in where they do not belong and for demanding far harsher treatment of the elder Duggar boy; others use the nature of the crime to support their voicing of their unneeded and unwanted opinions; while still others used the Duggars’ fame as their reason for butting in where they have no jurisdiction nor authority and all of these people never stated anything close to God’s justice but wanted their own ideas implemented so that they could feel better.
Their interference has nothing to do with ‘justice’ for the victims, the victims themselves or even bringing the boy to repentance. Their interference was only for themselves alone and had nothing to do with bringing justice to the issue. The fact that the network pulled the show and that sponsors pulled their support only shows that earthly justice also depends upon public opinion and how certain corporations are perceived.
Too many businesses shelve what is just in fear of losing money and that is not the right move to make and such actions only pervert justice. People do not understand that their views do not count as being just for their ideas are usually the product of thinking that has either been corrupted or influenced by corrupt opinions. They also do not understand that emotionalism is not justice nor a part of it. Too often I hear American courts spending time to hear victim impact statements and I disagree with that practice as that is letting emotions influence justice.
Last year in this country we experienced a terrible tragedy. We lost over 250 students to the negligence of a one ship captain and most of his crew members. So many parents, friends and their countrymen were calling for the heads of those people in charge of the ship. They were letting their emotions dictate what punishment should take place.
When the original verdict and sentencing was released, there was an outcry that the punishment was not enough and did not go far enough as many Koreans wanted to see the Captain and most of his crew given the death sentence. I do not remember all the crew’s sentences but the Captain’s was a 36 year prison term and many people were not happy with such leniency. The Korea Times had asked for prayers during the rescue attempt and I sent in a prayer that called for the Korean legal system to be fair, just and not let the emotions of others influence the crew’s penalties.
When the paper announced the decision on the sentences, I must have balked a bit at how light the penalty seemed but God showed me that the sentence was fair and just. He pointed out that the Captain was 68 years-old and that even if he survived his prison term, the Captain would be 104 years old and far too old to hurt anyone else ever again. Then he showed me that if the Captain died in prison, he effectively received a death sentence.
God’s justice is not always going to look like we want it to look. Sadly, the courts heard an appeal, I believe made by the prosecutor’s office, and ended the new trial by handing out longer sentences to the Captain and some of his crew members. Whether it was done to appease the parents of the lost students or caving in to public demand I do not know but one thing I do know is that God’s justice does not do that. His justice doe snot appease anyone, it does not cave in to popular demand or public opinion; it provides the right penalty that is fair, honest, just and usually helps the offender see the error of his or her ways.
God’s justice is not vindictive, revenge-minded, spite-filled, hate-filled or even antagonistic but it is fair and everyone gets the same penalty that commits the same crimes. As Romans tells us, ‘the wages of sin is death’ and that is applied to all age groups and all genders without exception or favoritism. God’s justice deals with the crimes not the emotional state of the victims or their families.
To end this I will place a few verses describing God’s idea of justice and his instructions on how to carry it out and to make another comment on the Duggar situation, they are not receiving any justice over this issue and that is wrong. All verses are from the NASB
You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; (Ex. 23:2)
You shall not pervert the justicedue to your needy brother in his dispute. (Ex. 23:6)
You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. (Deut. 16:9)
You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge.(Deut. 24:17)
For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. (Ps. 37:28)
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. (Ps. 82:3)
Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.(Prov. 2:8)
A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. (Prov. 19:28)
A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes. (prov. 20:8)
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. (Is. 1:17)
So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. (Is. 10:2)
Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted. (Hab. 1:4)
The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. (Zeph. 3:5)
If you want to make a study on the topic of ‘justice’ here is one link to start with. It contains 139 verses on the issue:
One final thought. When you do justice you need to remember that it is for everyone, no matter who they are or if they are believers or unbelievers, undesirables or rich. God does not play favorites so we should not and God does not make exceptions, we should not. If you recall Nathan approached King David and said– ‘Thou art the man!!’ and then David was punished for his sins. How high a spiritual office a person holds does not exempt them from true justice.
But before we administer ‘justice’ we need to investigate biblically first in order to see if a crime has actually happened, how serious a crime it is and to see what is the right course of action to take and when you get the last part we need to remember to forgive the offender first so that we have removed the beams from our eyes and can see true justice clearly.
We can’t do all that without the help of Jesus and the HS. That is where the world fails people. They do not seek help from the ones who are truly just.