Just or Unjust Laws?



The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. Deuteronomy 32:4


We’ve been watching some detective shows on Netflix lately. I am never sorry when the bad guy is caught and brought to justice. But, I am most struck by how much injustice is inherent in our “justice system.”

I know these shows are made for T.V. but they demonstrate (maybe even teach) an attitude that obeying the law of our land is not really expected or honored by either side. Even the “good guys” (law enforcement personnel) are not paying much attention to what the law says.

Even more eye-opening is that at the same time we have been watching these shows, I have been in a class on biblical law. Here are two basic facts: God’s Law is just. Man’s law (when it veers away from God’s law) is unjust.

To understand the justice of God’s law requires embracing God’s sovereignty and His goodness. Everything He does, every command and every action, is for His glory and our good. If that is not our underlying premise when we look at His Law, we may not be able to see His justice.

For instance, God says, “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. “ (Exodus 21:23-25) God is just in protecting people from each other with this law. Overdoing retribution is wrong. In His law God’s justice also calls for not underdoing it.  God’s law brings a level of justice that our sinful hearts do not have.

This is also why we need to leave vengeance up to God. He knows the heart and will justly avenge the wrong done to us. (Jeremiah 5:29; Romans 12:19)

The most glorious thing about this to me is that it protects us in keeping us from God’s judgment. In the heat of a moment I might misunderstand something that was said or done by someone else and believe I have been attacked or ridiculed. If I responded quickly to avenge myself, I would have taken out my wrath on someone unjustly. When we trust God to take vengeance, we lessen the consequences of our own sin, and increase our trust in the One who promises vengeance (and He knows when vengeance is called for).

We cry out for justice and trust God to execute that justice (Luke 18:7).

If we can understand (and act on) this view of God’s justice on a personal level, it is easier to see it in His Laws for the nation. He is equally as sovereign and good over the political, business, social, scientific, educational, and artistic realms of the world as he is concerning our personal injuries and relationships.

God blesses obedience to His Law. I know that I cannot expect Netflix or T.V. shows to reflect that truth (yet). But, how could you and I live like we believe that His law is perfect?




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