And Justice For All (Part 1) 

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, February 6, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

When I was the coordinator/trainer for a ministry to victims of crime, I learned a lot about the nature of forgiveness and justice. One of the hardest lessons to experience, and to help others grasp, was that neither can be had on our own terms. It is not in our power to “balance the scales” so to speak. We cannot make a criminal apologize, and we cannot accomplish justice for ourselves. Our hurt, loss, and pride can quickly shift any desire for justice toward revenge or vengeance. And our own hurt makes us blind to our injustice toward others.

What we can do is choose to forgive, in order to free ourselves from the poison of revenge. We can also trust the courts (and ultimately God) to bring about justice. Once we become the judge and jury, we cross the line - making ourselves “god.” But we lack the power and perspective to do true justice.

Read Habakkuk 2:2-8. If you haven’t read the previous weeks’ blog posts (here and here), please take time to do so. This week we see God’s answer to Habakkuk’s second lament. It is a declaration of God’s judgement on the Chaldeans/Babylonians, and yet at the same time it explains why God allowed them to ravage Israel.

God heard and agreed with Habakkuk’s first complaint about injustice. Although the Chaldeans were a vicious people, God could not overlook the injustice among His own people. Justice involves right living, proper consequence or correction, and equitable treatment in ALL societies, not just for the “bad guys.” How could God judge them, and not judge Israel for their injustice as well?

In God’s second reply to Habakkuk, he explains the judgement on the Chaldeans, in a way that Israel is to write down, remember, and take caution. God shows Habakkuk that everything the Chaldeans have done is about to be done back to them. The evil they lived is about to be their own undoing, possibly at the hands of those they have attacked and oppressed.

It’s almost as if God is a parent of a troubled teen and was taking Habakkuk (and Israel) to a prison to spend the night and see how brutal life would be if they continued down the path of rebellion. And yet, at the same time, showing Habakkuk that asking for justice and wrath may not be what he really wants or needs. If God were to bring justice, it could equally mean their destruction.

We’ll look next week at the “woes” God is going to speak, and why it is important to listen to them and correct ourselves. For now, I ask you to consider this: Everywhere you feel like the world is out of control, or someone needs to be held accountable for their wrongdoing, do you see that demanding justice actually invites judgement on yourself? Are you ready to face God’s judgement for where you have done wrong?

Does this mean we are soft on sin, or ignore injustice? Certainly not! In fact, just the opposite should be true. Our knowledge of our own failings should drive us deeper into our relationship with God, for His mercy and healing and correction. Our awareness of our own injustice should deepen our desire to seek mercy and transformation in Christ for those who are currently serving their own desires - or Satan’s desires.

As I recently reminded someone who commented on my blog post, followers of Christ are not to be seeking balance with evil, or to level the scales of justice, or some tolerable level of more evil than good in the world. We are to OVERCOME evil with good.

If you want to seek justice, seek it by having the love and grace of God and bringing down every stronghold of evil. How are you doing that in your family? Your neighborhood?

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