Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Decline of Justice (Proverbs 17:15; 18:5; 28:4)

"He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD." (Prov. 17:15)

Years ago, the O.J. Simpson trial had everything a television producer could want—a star-studded cast, sex, drugs, spousal abuse, jealousy, racial tension, flashy defense lawyers, and dubious jurors. This mix of intrigue and scandal captivated the country as millions wait impatiently for the verdict. But the guilt or innocence of one man was not all that is at stake in this trial—so was the integrity of the American judicial system. Many in our country believe our court system has become woefully negligent in its duty to punish the wicked and acquit the innocent. Unfortunately, a sensational trial such as the O.J. Simpson fiasco only confirmed our fears that the judicial system might be in decline.

The Simpson trial and the verdict caused many to doubt whether our courts were fulfilling their divinely ordained role—especially when it came on the heels of cases such as the Menendez and Bobbitt debacles. Trials such as those—and numerous others that fill our newspapers weekly—bring to mind the proverb “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—the LORD detests them both.” Evidence of a society in decline is the corruption of its judicial system. When the crimes of the wicked are justified and the innocent are condemned, something is amiss in the foundation of that society.

It is not insignificant in an age when God has been thrown out of the government and the courts, when absolute standards of right and wrong are rejected as out-of-date, and when relativism reigns, that our judicial system has witnessed marked decay. More than anything it represents a provocative abuse of God’s authority. “The judge or magistrate ‘is a minister of God for good’ (Rom. 8:4),” Bridges wrote. “The appeal is to him for justice, as the Representative of God (Deut. 25:1). If the great Judge ‘loves righteousness and hates iniquity,’ this unrighteousness justifying the wicked must be abomination to Him.… But in a world, of which Satan is the ‘god and the prince,’ injustice is a natural principle of administration.” Only when individuals once again submit to the authority of God and the standards He has set for judicial administration will a society begin to heal the rifts created by injustice.

Look through a newspaper today or watch a news broadcast. Note any trials that are going on or any laws that are being written. Pray specifically that justice will be maintained in those situations, and that men and women in authority will fulfill their roles according to the righteousness of God.