“Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.” – Proverbs 29:26
This is a topic that could quickly balloon into a large piece. I will try to keep it concise and to the point.
Justice–or the lack of it–has always been a “hot topic”, hence the reason scripture is filled with teaching about it, but at times it seems the flame burns even brighter depending on our circumstances or those around us.
Injustice can fill us with anger or make us sorrowful, it can prompt motivation for action or cause us to lose heart. It drives us to find out what we should be striving for or fighting against. It fuels both passionate outbursts and eloquent dissertations, self-examination and system critique.
While the responses can be wide and varied, one step that usually finds a place somewhere in our response is looking to the authorities–whoever they may be–for justice. Whether we look to them and decide they can fit the need or we come to the conclusion that they won’t and something else needs to be done, it still finds a place in our response.
This verse contains a lot of truth for us when we are faced with injustice. It isn’t saying not to “seek an audience with a ruler”, that is a valid and correct course of action. It does teach us that whether justice is found through going to the ruler or not, the Lord is the source of that justice. It is the Lord we should seek first and foremost, He is the one that we should put our hope and trust in. If God chooses to use broken humans or a broken system to work out justice for His glory, so be it. But if He chooses not to, that doesn’t mean there won’t be justice.
From the rest of scripture we know that if God does not deliver justice presently on earth–whether that is immediate or in the future–He will in heaven. However, that doesn’t give us an excuse not to act in the present.
On the contrary,
“Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.” – Isaiah 1:17
This verse from Isaiah is sandwiched in a passage of rebuke for the nation Judah after many of them have walked away from following the Lord. Part of following the Lord faithfully is seeking justice for others.
On earth we only get to see a partial glimpse of the Lord’s justice. Our hope as Christians, one of the Lord’s promises that we can trust in, that will never fail, is that one day He will make everything right.
The wrath of God for wrongdoing and injustice is satisfied either by the blood of Jesus Christ or hell. No one gets away with injustice.
Not only is wickedness punished, but God’s justice also brings restitution to the wronged. This is illustrated by the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 and through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-11.
Do not hope in man or any earthly authority. Know that justice is from the Lord and it is sure. Seek justice and defend the oppressed. Trust in the promises of God.