For the family of the convicted murderer or rapist, there is a cold, hard reality to adjust to. That loved one is now in prison, and may be there for a very long time. It’s hard on everyone involved, not the least of whom, the victim(s).
There is an irrevocable truth in life that justice must come eventually. And this becomes a stark reality in our own lives as we watch on, for instance, when our children make some of the same (or similar) dumb decisions we made. We generally always reap the rewards of our behaviour, eventually.
God can’t abide in lies and wickedness. His standard of righteousness and justice is unparalleled in holiness. Paul says it straight in Romans 1:18-20, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (TNIV)
We see here that there are no excuses for complaint and misery for the execution of natural justice--God’s made it plain for everyone to see.
I was involved in a discussion recently on the role of the conscience and its possible interrelatedness with the Holy Spirit. Surely for the worldly and the Christian alike, our consciences are involved in the decisions we make. Is this not, at least to a large extent, how God makes it plain to us what is right and what is wrong?
There is a section of the Christian community I’m sure who don’t want to discuss these issues; they’d prefer instead to talk about all the nice stuff. We can’t hide the fact in life, however, that justice is about all the time, 24/7. Like God, it’s ever-present.
But, what do we do when it’s our loved ones or close friends are involved in the wrong side of justice--when they begin paying the price? For instance, the car accident that means they must take public transport and endure inconvenience, or the unexpected pregnancy, or the relationship that turns sour, even though it always promised as much. And this is only a start. There are also those consequences that occur which are lasting.
The basic premise is, we have the habit of reaping what we sow; and that’s a Godly convention right there!
One thing we don’t do, and can’t do, however, is be instrumental in bringing that justice about (unless we’re ‘anointed’ for the task i.e. in parenting). But we do need to be able to just watch on in empathy as the situations of justice play themselves out, our loved ones in tow.
Ideally, the Christian person should be able to almost disengage emotionally--in being able to see these situations from God’s viewpoint, not that God’s not torn at bringing us to account when it’s required. There’s got to be a humble acceptance that this is God’s way, not ours. He’s in control of the show, not us.
Justice comes and we must grow more and more expectant of it. It’s all about God. His truth reigns and if we ever live in a way contrary to that fact, we can expect things to turn out badly. Isn’t a comfort that we can rely (generally) on his truth, his wisdom, and finally, his Word?
We must root out all untruths we might be tempted to suppress, both for now and for the after-life. The key question God might ask us at the end of our lives is, “Did you live your life for truth--was your life dedicated to it?”
How will we answer him?
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.