More than just Justice (Proverbs 18)
There’s more than one side to the story.
We never feel this point more strongly than when we are accused or in the wrong. Of course there’s another side. We know our true motivations.. or is it simply that we know our *justifications*? At any rate, we are totally convinced that the accuser doesn’t hold all the important information – there’s more to the story.
Justice is hard. It’s hard because of sin. It’s hard because of self deception. It’s hard because of lies and selfishness. It’s hard because we work with imperfect knowledge. And yet we all long for justice to be done.
The book of Proverbs has warned us before about bribes because they are the death-kneel of due process.
“The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.”
(Proverbs 17:23 NIV11)
Even without bribery determining an accurate account of events is tough for precisely the reason the book of wisdom tells us today:
“In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.”
(Proverbs 18:17 NIV11)
The cross-examination is the key. How do *two* stories look? How do they sound when put to the test? We can be very thankful for the privilege of an open and transparent, reliable, and uncorrupted, justice system here in Australia. Just like the air we breathe we take it far too much for granted.
According to stats from International Justice Mission (IJM) there are billions of people who live without the same privilege and reliability that just courts bring to a society.
God is concerned for justice. We can see it in the way He set up the nation of Israel and it’s courts:
“And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.”
(Deuteronomy 1:16 NIV11)
But God isn’t only concerned that we judge fairly. He warns us that as Creator He is the One who will judge each and every life and weigh it on His scale. Even as we tremble before this great truth we can know that God Himself will only and always be unimpeachably upright and true and fair.
“Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
(Psalm 96:13 NIV11)
“let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.”
(Psalm 98:9 NIV11)
God will call all to account and the Bible is clear that without the forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross all of us would stand condemned on that final day. There really is pause to praise our Saviour here.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:8–9 NIV11)
Where’s the application today? To give thanks for the justice system in Australia? Perhaps that’s a good place to start – even acknowledging the complexity of particular cases, the difficulties of family law, and the cunning of corporations, we can generally be thankful for those who prosecute and defend the law in our country.
It may also be good to pause and consider our own little ‘courts of law’ where we pass judgement and administer punishments daily. Maybe we can slow down, put aside our justifications, our preconceptions, and consider that there may in fact be another side to the story – if only we’ll pause to hear it first.
May the God of true justice – who will weigh every life in His perfect hands – give us guidance and wisdom here.
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #wisdom #Proverbs