As I was having a late lunch today, the news coverage on all the local networks was the same. There was an arrest made in a case of child pornography. While anything that can be done to end this horrific crime against children is a plus, this by itself would not have merited a “breaking news” designation by every network. In this case, the man who was arrested is also a declared a “person of interest” in the Jacob Wetterling case. If you have lived in Minnesota for very long, you are familiar with the name Jacob Wetterling. Jacob was abducted 26 years ago last week, and his family (as well as most of Minnesota) is still waiting for answers and closure on this case.
As I listened to the coverage today, I realized just how much we all want justice to be served. We don’t like the loose ends of crime to be left hanging. We experience this in small ways, as we drive down the road and get “cut off” by a driver who is weaving his way though traffic to get ahead. We quietly, or not so quietly, wish that there would be a state trooper that saw what I just saw and would give that driver a ticket!
We sense it in a much larger scene, when we hear of a crime that has been committed and we desire for those involved to be arrested. Sometime, perhaps, we just want to know who ate the last piece of cake that you were saving for yourself. Large or small, we all have built into our wiring a desire for justice.
In fact, that desire for justice can, at times, drive otherwise well-adjusted and peace-loving people to do things outside of the norm to take justice into their own hands. Perceived injustice has led to protests and even riots all in the name of justice, or calling attention to the lack of justice.
My prayer today is for the family of Jacob Wetterling, that they would get the answers that they have been after for so many years. I can not imagine how it feels to be waiting as they have for so many years.
As I ponder God today, I am drawn to the fact that Scripture reminds us that our God is a God of justice.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:14 (NIV)
God is also the one who brings perfect justice to the world.
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
Psalm 140:12 (NIV)
The good news for us is that all the injustices we witness in the world—which may appear to us as having gone unpunished—are known and judged by God. Perfect justice brings relief to those oppressed, but fear to those who live with guilt.
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Proverbs 21:15 (NIV)
It also strikes me, as I consider justice, that the one who did not receive justice is the very one who gives justice to us. Luke writes about the injustice Christ received,
“In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
Acts 8:33 (NIV)
I also rejoice that I do not receive the punishment that my sins and disobedience deserve, but I receive perfect justice from God who took out my punishment on His one and only Son. Through His suffering and death I have been declared free from punishment, and righteous in the eyes of God.
What does God’s justice mean to you? How do you handle injustice in your life?