Where there is no justice…
- chaos ensues
- evil is rampant
- lives are destroyed
- God is not honored
Certainly this is not how God intends for people to live.
In the Bible, God describes what a culture of justice looks like. He commands His people to implement laws and practices that bring about justice for everyone throughout their land. What does a culture of justice look like? I’m glad you asked.
In a culture of justice, the laws are just and fair. Another way to say this is that in every situation where a crime is committed, the punishment should fit the crime. For example, there should be a different punishment for stealing a pack of gum versus robbing a bank. In the Scriptures that follow, understand that the Bible is not encouraging us to literally cut anyone’s hand off, but rather these verses illustrate that laws should be just and fair.
20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Whatever injury he inflicted on the person, the same is to be inflicted on him.
21 You must not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.
In a culture of justice, the laws apply to everyone. No person or group of people is above the law or exempt from the law. The laws apply to everyone: rich, poor, tall, short, politicians, custodians, teachers, homemakers, engineers, all ethnic backgrounds, athletes, painters… you get the idea. The laws apply to everyone.
2 Samuel 8:15
15 So David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people.
6 “You must not deny justice to a poor person among you in his lawsuit.
In a culture of justice, there is order. As we said earlier, where there is no justice chaos ensues, evil is rampant and lives are destroyed. However, where there is justice, there is order. Now, because we live in a sinful world, there may still be crime, but the crime will be dealt with in a fair and orderly way, and there will be people and processes in place to maintain order and peace. Orderliness brings peace and joy.
15 Justice executed is a joy to the righteous but a terror to those who practice iniquity.
4 By justice a king brings stability to a land, but a man who demands “contributions” demolishes it.
In a culture of justice, the righteous defend those who have no voice. Certainly the righteous will speak up to defend the lives of the unborn. Orphans, the poor, the oppressed, widows, the medically fragile, and others may need someone to speak up for them. Followers of Jesus should notice these needs and find ways to speak up for them. The righteous defend those who have no voice.
8 Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.
3 Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.
17 Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.
In a culture of justice, God is honored. God is a just God. When there is justice in a person’s life, in their home, in the community and throughout the land, it pleases Him and honors Him. It is the best environment! People thrive where there is justice. And in this environment, the Lord smiles.
6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.
18 Here is My Servant whom I have chosen, My beloved in whom My soul delights; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not argue or shout, and no one will hear His voice in the streets. 20 He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick, until He has led justice to victory.
4 For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is trustworthy. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the LORD’s unfailing love.
Editor’s Note: This is post #3 of 7 in the series We God’s People are the Conscience of the Culture. Click the links below to view the other posts.