Sunday, November 11, 2007

Justice (11) - Justice maybe Impossible

In many situations, achieving justice will be impossible. If judges are unjust and or the government is not interested in providing justice, it may be possible to obtain justice. This was probably the case on the Jericho road. For the ordinary people in Jesus time, justice was a rare commodity. The Jewish leaders were to busy protecting their privileges and positions to be interested in justice. The Romans did not care. For them, a band of thieves was just a normal part of life. As long as they did not attack the Roman authority, they would be ignored. The Romans had no interest in providing justice for the injured man.

Although the injured man was entitled to justice, he would be unlikely to ever get it. The Samaritan could have started a campaign to obtain justice for people robbed on the Jericho Road. This would have been a worthy cause, but would have been unlikely to succeed. Working to achieve justice might assist future victims, but it would not help the man injured now. Mercy was more effective solution than justice for the injured man.

In many countries, poor people simply do not have access to justice. Judges always decide in favour of the rich and powerful.

Persistence can sometime persuade and unjust judge to do the right thing (Luke 18:1-5). In an evil world, justice will often be an impossible goal. That does not mean that we will never get justice. God has promised that we will all get justice when we stand before him. That is our hope.

God has also promised that he will bring down unjust rulers.

The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright
But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken (Psalm 37:12-15)
This is a common theme in the book of Psalms. The unjust rulers and judges will eventually be swept away. That is also our hope.

Vindication may not happen immediately. Until all unjust rulers and judges have been defeated, mercy will often be a better tool than justice. When justice is impossible, mercy can still triumph.

No comments: