Every day our newsfeeds are filled with stories of injustice. If we open up and spend any time on social media, we’ll get those same stories. Yes, there are a lot of heartwarming, people taking care of each other stories out there. However, they don’t carry as well as the negative story, which is why we so many negative stories compared to the good ones.
However, from a justice perspective, even one bad story is unacceptable. It means that someone was treated wrongly. It means we, as a people, didn’t do the right thing. And as much as I want to cry and scream and gnash my teeth at quite a few of these stories, I know that it won’t do a lot of good. I can take specific actions in specific cases, but so long as there is evil in the world, there is injustice.
The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. – Psalm 9:15-18, NIV
God is known by His acts of justice. One of the arguments I hear frequently is if God is so just and merciful, why doesn’t He just prevent all injustice? The hard to hear answer is that He works in His own timing with His own understanding. Sometimes we have to go through injustice to appreciate justice. Sometimes we need to go through undeserved adversity to make us stronger, kinder, more humble. Sometimes, there is evidence to collect, justification for why punishment is delivered to someone.
There have been numerous science fiction stories and movies dealing with pre-emptive justice. One of the problems with that notion is what if the prediction is wrong? What if the person wouldn’t do the crime that the authorities are trying to stop? If the person never does it, is he or she actually guilty? We’d apply the same questions to God. “God, why did you punish that person? He hasn’t done anything yet!” “God, are you sure she would really do such a horrible thing? How can we know since you didn’t let it happen?”
In other words, whichever path God chooses, some folks will argue find fault. And given that hardship is often what we must have to grow, that means He has to allow some injustice to happen. The good news is that the justice is eventually dealt with. Maybe it won’t happen in our lifetimes. However, God doesn’t ignore the injustice. Also, God won’t forget the needy nor the afflicted. Even in times of injustice, God is still there for those affected. He might not act the way we want Him to act, but we also don’t have His wisdom. We don’t know have His knowledge. We can’t know how things would turn out if He did it the way we would want.
Rejoice that our God is a just God. Also, find joy that He is there for the needy and the afflicted. That means when injustice hits us, He is there for us. It might be hard to see Him through the pain, but if we look for Him, if we listen for Him, we will find Him. We can take comfort that eventually the unjust will be brought to trial and judgment by God, meaning we can focus on what we can learn from the situation, both about ourselves and our loving God.