Perverting Justice Is Not Complicated

Sometimes the simplicity of the book of Proverbs is what we need to straighten us out. Life feels so hard and so complicated. But the wisdom of the word of God speaks quite plainly.

Consider this thought on justice, especially in the light of the social confusion about justice today.

Proverbs 17:15

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

Here we see two things put together about genuine, biblical justice. We see two things that are deeply wrong, an abomination before the Lord. One is to justify the wicked. The other is to condemn the righteous. God hates both of these things.

Now, consider where we have gone in our society. Justifying the wicked is a popular thing. How can I say that?” First, our society has rejected God’s word and his ways. Thus, as a people, our nation has willfully rejected God’s definition of what is wicked. Therefore, when wicked people do wicked things, as a society, it is celebrated. Hollywood and politicians see things happen that God has called absolutely abominable, and these folks applaud it and demand that all others join them in that applause.

Of course, the primary focus in the proverb is one of legal justice. If a person commits a crime, it is an abomination to the Lord to pretend it did not happen. Sadly, in our society, we are hearing a regular call to allow criminals to be justified. If a person commits a crime, but they have been somehow socially oppressed, we want to ignore their wrong in order to continue to push forward a political narrative.

How about the idea of condemning the righteous? Do we do that too? You bet. A person might be doing things that are absolutely right in accord with the word of God or even the law of the land. But we are seeing them condemned in society today. Perhaps we see them condemned because they are of the wrong class, the descendants of privileged oppressors. Perhaps we see them oppressed because they refuse to applaud the actions that God has declared to be wicked.

Again, allow biblical justice to speak to us. It is evil to look at a person who has done evil—evil as defined by the word of God—and say to them that they are OK. It is also evil to look at a person who has not done evil—evil as defined by the word of God—and declare them guilty because of their ethnicity, their wealth, or their refusal to applaud that which God condemns. May God save us from our twisting of justice to call good evil and evil good.