Display until March 24, 2015
The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®
By Ron Ross
You probably can’t remember, but the first time you sensed injustice was as a toddler. It was when another toddler grabbed a toy out of your hand, and you didn’t like it. You were so enraged at the little brat’s thievery that you screamed loud enough to be heard down the block!
A few years later when you stole a candy bar from the 7-11, no one had to tell you it was wrong. That’s why you ran all the way down the block, and as you ate the candy bar, it didn’t taste all that good.
You didn’t know the meaning of “lie” when you first lied to your mother. But when she said, “Did you just lie to me?”, you knew what she was talking about and guilt overwhelmed you.
Later in life when you saw photographs of the death camps of Hitler’s Third Reich or learned about slavery or understood what adultery was, you knew for certain some things are right, and some things are horribly wrong.
Every human in every tribe and nation in every era of time starts out life with this internal sense of morality. It’s the law that is written on the heart of every human by their Creator. You and I and everyone on earth have an innate sense that there is good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice.
It’s called Natural Law.
Here’s the deal: The first sense of right and wrong was discovered by Adam and Eve who did not notice they were naked until after they sinned. It’s not in Genesis, but I’m pretty sure that once they shared the forbidden fruit, Adam said to Eve something like, “You know what, Eve, I think we just screwed up. I sure hope God didn’t notice!” But they ran and hid and covered their shame just in case.
In that single moment in history, this life-lifting word, justice, had its origin. Right and wrong, guilt and innocence, was established by God himself in the Garden of Eden. Justice did not originate from robed judges, pious religious proclamations, or haughty lectures by over-educated Ph.D.s. It came from the Justice of All Ages, Almighty God.
Next, the law written on the heart of man by God was codified when He called Moses to Mt. Sinai. There he handed Moses the Ten Commandments, the beginning of codified law. The Mosaic Code formed the basis of America’s civil and criminal justice systems.
The laws of God and man may be written on paper and filed in courts, but they do not assure anyone of justice. You probably know of someone for whom justice was denied or someone who though guilty, got off on a technicality.
It’s true that many a crime has gone unpunished and many a sin has gone unnoticed. What is the lawbreaker afraid of? Justice, that’s what. What do the offended want so badly? Justice, that’s what. It’s easy to call for justice, but it’s not that easy to implement.
Nevertheless, justice is an important life-lifting word that continues to impact our broken and sinful world. As the Proverb writer observed, “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” – Proverbs 21:15
©2014 Ronald D. Rosss
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