Cries for justice rang out in the streets of Baltimore, MD recently, but they were mingled with the chaos of rioting. Cries for justice ring out throughout the world every day, but often go unheard.
I've heard many say, "If God is a God of love, why is there so much evil and injustice in the world?" Yet, a more important and vital question is, "What is the basis for true justice?"
Too often, cries for justice are a mask or desire for revenge or retaliation. But true justice can't be based on emotion, nor on a singular cause. True justice must be based on genuine, honest, and objective truth.
The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions. When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops. To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them. [vss 1-4]
Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely. Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich. Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents. Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor. God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law. [vss 5-9]
Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things. Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them. When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble. [vss 10-14]
A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear. A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life. [vss 15-16]
(Proverbs 28:1-16 NLT) [Context– Proverbs 28]
Key phrase— When the godly succeed, everyone is glad
[bctt tweet="When the godly succeed, everyone is glad"]
What seems to be the recommended basis for true justice, according to these verses?
What do these verses say about the character of those who are a blessing as leaders?
What is the description of the character of those who treat others poorly and are bad leaders?
Do you think the wisdom expressed in these verses is true, and have you seen it proven out in a general sense?
When you vote for leaders in an election, are you just concerned with what the candidate's party affiliation is? Are you more concerned with what their stand is on certain issues, or do you weigh their character and how they carry themselves?
Good character, and so a good leader, doesn't develop in a vacuum or in some random fashion. The wisdom expressed in these verses in Proverbs 28 indicate good leadership is based on good character, and good character is shaped by genuine truth. The principle of rule by law, held to by most any form of democracy, has its roots in the Law of God.
The people of God, who were defined by a covenant based on law, were to reflect their Creator. They were to be a light in the midst of darkness. The light of true justice will penetrate the darkness of oppression, ethical and moral corruption, and benefit those who love the truth. If we want true justice, we need to have a sure foundation for it—an impartial basis of truth.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again to consider and answer the following questions
What is your experience with good or bad leadership, and with true or corrupt justice?
How do you respond to ethical or moral corruption? Do you ignore it, or resist it, or take a stand against it?
How do you personally promote genuine justice? What is your attitude towards the poor and those who are oppressed?
What is the basis for justice as you see it? Is it a reliable and stable foundation for justice?