… Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly? (Gen.18:25)
Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel, nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smouldering wick He will not out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His Name the Gentiles will hope (Mat.12:18-21).
There is only one place that humanity will ever find perfect justice in this life: God’s law. We can learn one thing from the atheists who turned the twentieth century into a bloodbath: the rejection of God in the legislative, executive or judiciary is always preparatory to the rejection of justice. The Bible warns us of this, when it predicts that “…all those who hate me [God] love death” (Prov.8:36).
Christians have always had a task ahead of them: to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. And this good news has political and judicial applications way beyond what we’ve been content with, for centuries. If “He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles,” and “lead justice to victory…” could this be on any other basis than His own law?
Another of Isaiah’s Messianic promises declares of Jesus that
with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked (Isa.11.4).
Now some could claim,
Well, that’s not our job. The Lord will accomplish all that at the Second Coming.
But the context of Isaiah 11 makes it clear that it’s not the Second Coming, but a logical result of proper gospel preaching. Verse 10 tells us that “then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.”
Christians are called by God to be representatives; His servants. In fact, the Bible calls us “ambassadors for Christ” (II Cor.5:20). These are things we are not to leave to God’s sovereign power to bring about, but are to tirelessly apply ourselves to in our local communities. Yes, the gospel means the changed lives of individuals according to God’s Word, but it also necessitates and demands that the laws of communities and nations change too, according to that same Word. That is also something that honours God, and He requires it.
We do not have the right to say, “thus far and no further.” Nor can we draw a line between what is supposedly sacred and secular; this is all God’s world we are part of.
When Ahab “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him” (I Kings 16:30), Elijah challenged him and related his behaviour to the coming judgment of drought on the land (I Kings 17:1).
After three and a half years, when the drought had lifted at Elijah’s word (I Kings 18:41), Ahab sinned again in the matter of Naboth and his vineyard (I Kings 21). Ahab (through Jezebel) had killed Naboth and stolen his vineyard, violations of the Sixth and Eighth Commandments. Again Elijah confronted Ahab (v.20-24). He didn’t say that he was only interested in Ahab’s heart and spiritual life, or in him experiencing peace with God; he predicted God’s judgment: destruction for Ahab’s wife Jezebel and his whole household, which of course later eventuated (II Kings 9-10).
When Herod committed adultery with Herodias, John confronted him, saying “it is not lawful for you to have her” (Mat.14:4). He was being a faithful prophet to the rulers of the land.
This is what has occurred throughout history since then. John Knox was fearless in his confrontations with Mary in Scotland, who was an adulteress who’d probably murdered her husband. She was also a believer in the divine right of monarchs, a doctrine completely at odds with scripture. John would not back down, and he triumphed. He was simply doing what Jesus had commanded: “…teaching them to obey all that I commanded you…” (Mat.28:20).
Conclusion: It is high time that the church’s confusion over the law of God was resolved, for it has cost us dearly. The will of God is that His law is obeyed throughout the world, and the institution charged with instructing the world about this is the Church, “…the pillar and support of the truth” (I Tim.3:14).
We must be prepared to do this a lot more, and to stand for the truth of God, as it applies to law, economics, politics and government; in fact, every aspect of human behaviour.
Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right? (Job 8:3)
Obedience requires that we get busy.