God's Perfect Justice 

Described
 

            As the combined Supreme Ruler and Judge, God has perfectly right standards of justice. Psalm 98:9 states: “For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world. And the peoples with equity.”

            Psalm 9:7-8 declares: “But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.”

            Psalm 89:14 says of God: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne…”

God’s justice is one expression of His perfectly right or righteous and holy nature or character. God’s justice is expressed in His commandments, instructions and teachings (see Psalm 19:7-9), some of which change under His different covenants. For example, there are differences between the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants in these matters.

Under the Mosaic Covenant, God’s justice was manifested through the commands and the statutes of the Mosaic Law (see Proverbs 31:4). Under the New Covenant, God’s justice is found in His New Testament commands, instructions and teachings which are reflected in some parts of the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, there are many verses which relate to and reveal God’s perfect justice. His justice relates to Him:

 

  • defining what is right and wrong.
  • making just demands over the lives of the humans and angels – both His created possessions.
  • declaring whether humans and angels are innocent or guilty in the ways they relate to God and others.
  • giving rewards and punishments.
  • declaring those with saving faith to be justified by His unmerited grace and mercy.

 

Seeking justice and removing injustices

 

            One of the most important aspects of God’s character revealed in the Bible is His justice. Therefore, it is little wonder the Scriptures command His people to continually seek justice and remove injustices from the society in which they live.

But note that seeking justice means endeavoring to have the laws and customs of our society conform to God’s definition of justice. On many occasions, God’s definitions of justice and injustice are contrary to how groups in the non-Christian world define these things in government legislation, common law, bills of human rights, the constitutions of nations and the conventions and treaties of the United States. This is because some of the standards of justice contained in these things are based on the natural law philosophies of the pagan Stoics and Aristotle, the unbiblical humanistic approaches to human rights of the non-Christian Deists Rousseau, Voltaire, Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the French Revolutionaries and the unbiblical pagan ethical systems of the situational ethics, utilitarianism, relativism and American pragmatism.[1]

In Proverbs 17:15, God declares: “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Therefore, God regards as an abomination a society, a nation or collective group of nations which makes laws which enable the wicked to be declared just or innocent by judges or juries when these individuals are guilty.

Examples of laws which justify the wicked are those which have lowered the age of consent to homosexuality in many countries in Europe to 12, 13 and 14 years, thereby enabling paedophiles to seduce and prey on boys of those ages. Other examples of laws which justify the wicked are those which make it extremely difficult to criminally convict medical doctors who have indecently assaulted their patients.

            In Amos 5:15, God commanded: “Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate…” The phrase “in the gate” refers to the place where court cases were heard in ancient Israel.

Proverbs 24:23-25 says: “These things also belong to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment. He who says to the wicked, ‘You are righteous,’ him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” Here we see that God:

 

a)            hates laws which show partiality or favoritism to certain groups or individuals.

b)            opposes those who say to the wicked: “You are righteous or innocent.”.

c)            blesses those who rebuke the wicked.

 

In Ecclesiastes 5:8, God reveals that the perversion of justice and righteousness often wrongly occurs in this world: “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter: for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.”

In Deuteronomy 1:17, God commanded the Israelites: “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s.”

Deuteronomy 16:19 declares: “You shall not pervert justice: you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.”

In Isaiah 5:22-23, God states: “Woe to men…who…take away justice from the righteous man.” God curses legal systems which take away justice as He defines justice.

 

 

God’s Mosaic Covenant justice for the poor, needy, widows and orphans

 

            One specialised area of God’s justice relates to how humans treat the poor, the needy, widows and orphans.

Under the Mosaic Covenant, God commanded the Israelites to care for the poor and needy. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 states: “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”

In Deuteronomy 24:14-15, God commanded: “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it: lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you.” Leviticus 19:9-10 and 23:22 also relate to this.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 instructs that every three years, the Israelites were to give an extra tithe to look after the poor, orphans, widows, aliens and Levites. Deuteronomy 24:17-21 commands: “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow”

Exodus 22:21-25 commands: “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.”

Exodus 23:6 states: “You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in this dispute.” This verse means that Israelite judges had to ensure that the wealthy did not have any unfair advantage over the poor in court cases. In Leviticus 19:15, God commands that in court cases, judges should not show favoritism to either the poor or wealthy: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.” Exodus 23:3 speaks similarly. Psalm 140:12 states: “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor.”

Deuteronomy 27:19 says: “Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.” Psalm 146:9 states: “The Lord watches over the strangers…”

In Isaiah 10:1-2, God declares a curse on rulers who make unjust wrong laws: “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.” In Jeremiah 22:15-17, God challenged Shallum or Jehoahaz, King of Judah about his unjust rule.

New Covenant believers are not under the commands and statutes of the Mosaic Covenant, but note some of the commands and statutes of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy reveal God’s attitudes towards the poor, needy, orphans, widows and strangers.

 

Under the New Covenant

 

            In the New Covenant, God commands believers to help the poor, the needy, widows and orphans (see Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 14:13-14, Romans 15:26, 1 Corinthians 16:3, 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9, Galatians 2:10 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16). James 1:27 states: “Pure and  undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” James 2:14-17 declares: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

 

Poverty has many causes

 

The Bible has a more balanced view of poverty than what Communists, left-wingers or right-wingers in politics have. Many Communists and left-wingers blame only the rich and the political, social and economic organisation of society for people being poor. Many right-wingers solely blame the poor themselves for being poor.

The Bible, however, states poverty is a result of a mixture of many causes. These causes can in various cases be:

 

  • unjust treatment by the rich (see Jeremiah 5:26-29)
  • unjust treatment by political rulers (see Isaiah 1:23, 3:13-15, 10:1-2, Jeremiah 22:13-17 and Ezekiel 22:6-7)
  • unjust treatment in court cases (see Exodus 23:6)
  • persecution (see Hebrews 11:37-39)
  • laziness (see Proverbs 6:10-11, 10:4 and 24:33-34)
  • wasting your time (see Proverbs 14:23)
  • following empty, frivolous or futile pursuits. Proverbs 28:19 says: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” The NASB version states: “He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” In Hebrew, the word ‘frivolity’ or phrase ‘empty pursuit’ here is ‘req’ which means ‘empty, vain’[2] or ‘empty, idle, worthless ethically’[3] This can include getting drunk, gambling and so on. Proverbs 12:11 states: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”
  • Proverbs 23:20-21 says that drunkards and gluttons will generally become poor: “Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.”

 

  • having an excessive love of pleasures. Proverbs 21:17 states: “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man….”

 

The Bible does not teach that every person who is lazy, persecuted, wastes their time, follows empty pursuits, has an excessive love of pleasures or is unjustly treated by the rich, political leaders or courts will become poor. But these are causes in many cases.

Another cause of poverty on Earth is the fact that because of the fall of the human race into evil and rebellion against God, He cursed the ground. Genesis 3:17-19 records: “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the seat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return”. See also Genesis 5:29.

 

Poverty is one but not the only cause of crime

 

            Proverbs 30:8-9 reveals that poverty can tempt people to become involved with crime: “…  give me neither poverty nor riches – feed me with the food allotted to me lest I be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

But not all crime is caused by poverty. Poverty is sometimes one symptom of deeper causes. Proverbs 13:18 reveals that some people who become poor do so because they are not willing to receive correction and rebukes from others.

Many but not all people who become heroin and cocaine addicts were people who refused to receive correction and helpful rebukes from their parents, spouses, friends and school teachers who gave them drug education classes as little children. As a result of their addiction, they become poor and then become criminals to pay for their addiction. Obviously this is not the only reasons people become heroin and cocaine addicts, but it is one major reason.

Another major cause of crime is the tendency in all human hearts to do evil. Genesis 6:5-6 and 11-12 records that in the time of Noah: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth, and He was grieved to His heart…The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth and indeed it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”

 

God’s justice in relation to employees

 

            In the Mosaic Covenant God also emphasised that employers must treat the employees fairly. Leviticus 19:13 commands: “You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain all night with you until morning.”

In Jeremiah 22:13, God said: “Woe to him who builds his house on unrighteousness and his chamber by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work.” In Malachi 3:5, God promised He would punish those who exploit wage earners.

Under the New Covenant, God commanded that employers also treat their employees justly (see James 5:1-6).

 

God regards some politicians in Europe as abominations

 

          God loves everyone. But as Proverbs 17:15 reveal, God regards as abominations any person or group who makes laws which enable the wicked to be declared innocent or just by judges or juries when these accused individuals are guilty: “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”

            A good example of this is the governments who have made the laws of consent in many European countries including the Netherlands, Malta, Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein and Romania. These laws protect paedophiles who wish to have sex with boys from 12 to 14 years, the age differing from country to country.

            God expects every human political leader, judge and lawyer to follow the principles of His perfect justice. If they do not, He will hold them responsible after they die.

 

God’s justice at the Final Judgment

 

            At the Final Judgment, God will hold every person accountable for how justly and rightly they have treated every person they have dealt with in this earthly life (see Matthew 12:36-37, Romans 14:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

 

 


 


[1] For definitions of these philosophies and ethical systems read my Chapter “Avoid The Satanic Trap of Unbiblical Ethics”, Chapter “Situational Ethics”, Chapter “The Age of Reason, the Enlightenment and Deism” and Chapter “Christians Using Pagan Philosophies to Justify Their Sins.”

[2] Harris, Archer and Waltke, page 846.

[3] Brown, Driver and Briggs, page 938

 

 


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