Our “city on the hill” has become a cesspool of immorality that codifies into law the bloodlust of men and as a result injustice runs rampant.
Most of us are familiar with the notion of unrequited love: someone deeply and passionately loves someone else, but the feeling is not mutual. The love sick person longs for the other to reciprocate and respond in like manner, but alas, a heart is broken as the love interest withholds affections. This unrequited love could lead to despair, depression, and ultimately to death, if the rejected person cannot resolve this properly and find healing for his or her broken heart. If you or someone you know is in such a place, thankfully one of the stated reasons why Jesus came to this earth is to mend the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18).
Many have experienced this painful emotional turmoil in their lives. For the purposes of this article, I would like to expand the concept of unrequited love to the important virtue of justice. America once had a keen sense of justice. In fact, it was enshrined in our national pledge, which concludes, “with liberty and justice for all.” The Supreme Court building in Washington, DC prominently displays this historic view of justice with inscriptions like, “Equal Justice under law” and “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.”
Where did America discover justice as one of the necessary foundation stones to support our liberties? Look no further than our Judeo/Christian heritage. In 1215, the Magna Carta was first presented on a field at Runnymede, England. It was framed by a group of 13th century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical monarch, King John. It penned many concerns. Most of them dealt with practical matters and explicit grievances pertinent to the feudal system under which they lived.
However, there are two significant principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day, “No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.” And the second, “To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice.” Our Fifth Amendment to the Constitution (“no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”) comes directly from the Magna Carta’s guarantee of proceedings based upon the “law of the land.”
The Bible reveals, “The Lord loves justice” (Psalm 37:28). He is just. He will always do what is right (Genesis 18:25). His judgments are true and righteous altogether (Psalms 19:9b). Justice is a major theme that weaves its way through the “warp and woof” of the Old and New Testaments. In fact, the book of Psalms reveals to us that God’s throne of grace is built upon the foundations of righteousness (judgment) and justice (Psalm 89:14). He expects justice to be administered “for the fatherless and the widow” (Deuteronomy 10:18). Deuteronomy 16:19 commands, “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.” In fact, God threatened a curse upon those who persisted in perverting justice (Deuteronomy 27:19).
Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, received a wonderful gift of God (wisdom) by virtue of this truth; he desired a wise and understanding heart that would discern justice (1 Kings 3:11). The famous example of Solomon settling the dispute between two mothers spread his wisdom abroad. In this thorny situation, two harlots had sons about the same time in the same household. One of the babies died in the night due to suffocation (the mother laid on him). The guilty mother switched babies in the night and replaced her dead son with the live son of the other mother. When the innocent mother awoke to find the dead baby next to her, she became aware of this despicable act. Eventually, this misdeed was brought to Solomon’s attention. He examined both women and then rendered his verdict. He declared, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.” He knew only the true mother would be willing to let her baby live (1 Kings 3:16-28). The dramatic episode ends with these words, “And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice” (1 Kings 3:28).
Heads of state traveled for miles bearing gifts just to observe the wisdom and justice of Solomon’s court. One such dignitary, the Queen of Sheba observed:
And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her (1 Kings 10:4, 5).
Solomon understood, by God’s wisdom, that a nation would be blessed if they laid a foundation stone of justice to support their national life. A people willing to live out the Micah Mandate would secure a future and a hope. Micah 6:8 teaches, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
It was this admonishment from Micah that our Lord employed to rebuke the Pharisees of his day. They were guilty of straining at gnats and swallowing camels (Matthew 23:24). They carefully watched over their tithes, but neglected weightier matters. What were these weightier matters exposed by Christ? Jesus declared, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matthew 23:23).
At this juncture, it is important that we define the term justice. What exactly is biblical justice? In the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, the word justice was closely related to the word righteousness. Justice as it relates to our fellow man is a demand to safeguard their rights, especially, the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable of society. Hubert Humphrey, former United States Senator from Minnesota, stated, “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” This statement is inscribed on the Health and Human Resource building in Washington, DC. Tragically, our national government abandoned this “life ethic” decades ago. Children at the dawn of life and the elderly are unjustly put to death through the evil practices of abortion and euthanasia.
A wise maxim states, “No justice, no peace.” This rings true biblically. Crimes and injustice broke the “shalom” or the peace of the community. Only justice could restore it. If the injustice was allowed to continue, if the perpetrators were not penalized, the peace of the community would become a faded memory. Violence and perversion always replaces peace and harmony, wherever and whenever injustice became normative.
Unfortunately, this is the current state of our beleaguered nation. Our “city on the hill” has become a cesspool of immorality that codifies into law the bloodlust of men. Injustice runs rampant while Americans stand in awkward amazement as violence, perversion, and tyranny stalks our bloodstained land.
Notice as well, the frequent rampages that leave a wake of carnage in their destructive paths. Headline after headline chronicles the bloody massacres as America’s homegrown terrorists commit the unspeakable against our fellow citizens. In typical fashion, the political pundits and media talking heads chant their customary mantras calling for more gun control, money, government programs, and education, ad nauseam.
What is even more disconcerting is the reality that these crazed killers consistently take their own lives after their murderous sprees. It is this aspect of the carnage that inspired this article, Unrequited Justice. By committing suicide, the perpetrators not only take away the life of the innocent, but they also take away any chance for justice to bring closure for the loved ones left devastated by their brutal acts.
During the injustice of slavery, Abraham Lincoln heralded this principle, “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.” He also stated, “Nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on.” Does America deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as we destroy one third of an entire generation through the sin and crime of abortion? Have we not trodden to the ground babies “stamped with the divine image” and shed their innocent blood, which has polluted and defiled our land? The lessons from our bloodstained land are clear. No justice for the preborn, no justice for us. No mercy for the preborn, no mercy for us.
In light of this condition which has produced the syndrome, unrequited justice, how can justice be led to victory in our day (Matthew 12:20)? In the Old Testament, we read that Israel committed child sacrifice. God called for his people living in that era to:
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil,learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:16-18).
In the New Testament, one of the corresponding fruits of true repentance was the “readiness to see justice done.” The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7 was making a distinction between worldly sorrow, which leads to death and godly sorrow, which leads to repentance and salvation. He states:
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it-I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while-yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter (2 Corinthians 7:8-11).
If America is ever to secure a future and hope to end the bloody massacres savaging our nation, the unrequited justice of abortion must end in Jesus’ mighty name!