I don’t know about you, but I tend to spend far too long on Social Media. Something about scrolling through the apps helps me to unwind and zone out for a few minutes each evening! One of the pages that I often end up looking at is ‘Teesside Live’ the Evening Gazette’s page. This is useful for finding out what is happening in Teesside at the moment and gives regular breaking-news updates. Have you ever read the comments on the articles though?!
One thing which is clear from reading the comments is that people have a real desire to see justice! Whether the article is talking about a prison sentence being handed out, someone breaking Covid restrictions plans to build a new property development, or a match report of that evening’s Middlesbrough game, the comments follow a similar pattern – mainly an outrage at perceived injustice!
One of the things which is often said about my generation is that we are people who are passionate about justice. I believe it was Lemar who asked the famous question, ‘Is there any justice in the world?’. One of our highest values is standing up against perceived injustice and using our voice as a means of bringing justice. This is a really good thing as we all see injustice in our day-to-day lives. We have large-scale injustice such as the battle for racial equality with the BLM movement, the fight against the evil of people-trafficking, persecuted Christians across the world, or the growing issue of child poverty in the UK.
We also have smaller scale injustice too, things that we see in our day-to-day life that just aren’t fair. It could be how someone treats us, a situation at work like someone taking credit for something that we have done, or even another person’s reaction towards us which we feel is unfair. Ask my kids about injustice when I stop them from having a fifth Chocolate Hob Nob! The fact is this - we are surrounded by injustice every single day. As Christians, what should our reaction to this be?
In Psalm 73 we see the Psalmist (Asaph) dealing with injustice in his time. He starts off by writing out how ‘the wicked’ people are seemingly prospering and thriving despite their evil ways;
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
It can be a little bit like that with us. We can see injustice happening around us, and those guilty of it facing no punishment. We can see people that hurt us seemingly getting away with it and prospering. Our first reaction can be to shout, ‘That isn’t fair!’. The thing about injustice is that it leaves us feeling raw, vulnerable, sometimes angry, and desperate to see situations change. That is certainly what we see from Asaph in this Psalm. We long to be like Jesus and turn the tables over in protest when we see things that aren’t right. We want to rebel and we want to fight - this isn’t always appropriate of course. It’s good to read parts of the Bible like Psalm 73 and know that we aren’t alone in feeling this way.
The question is, though, what is God’s reaction to injustice? How does he feel about it? The top and bottom of it is that God loves justice. He is a God of justice. We see it written in Psalm 89 that ‘Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne’. Justice is in God’s very nature, so we can rightly know that he is against all forms of injustice. The fight against injustice is a fight that is close to God’s heart. It is because he hates injustice that we can know that one day we will see an end to all injustice in the world. We will see God’s rule and reign, we will have an eternity spent with God as he planned it – without injustice! The future is bright in this respect, and that is because God is against injustice.
We also see though that God delegates responsibility to us, as humans, to uphold Justice and Righteousness on earth 1. As Christians, we are to stand up for justice and righteousness in our day-to-day lives. This feeling of wanting to see justice is a completely natural thing for us to experience as beings made in God’s image.
What we can never do, though, is assume that God isn’t with us in this fight against injustice, whether it is the small-scale day-to-day things we experience or the huge injustices we try and overcome. We should never feel alone, and we should never feel like God doesn’t care. On the surface it may seem unfair to us, it may seem like God is turning a blind eye, but that isn’t the case.
Later on in Psalm 73 we see Asaph expressing those very same feelings to God before realising that God is with him after all;
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward, you will take me into glory.
Whenever we face injustice, we need to recognise that God is with us. He doesn’t abandon us but walks with us. He doesn’t turn a blind eye but empowers us to keep moving forward in the fight for justice. When we feel hard done by, he is right there with us. That is the encouragement we need to hear sometimes. Whether you are facing personal injustice at the moment, or feel particularly inspired to fight for one of the larger causes, know that God is with you!
Why not let that be your encouragement this week to pray into areas of injustice in your own life, in the local area and on a larger scale? Cry out to the God of justice this month!
- Proverbs 18:16, Micah 6:8
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