Man may try, but only God can address evils of injustice
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, April 21, 2018
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord most high.” — Psalm 7:17 (The Bible, New International Version)
Will there ever be justice? Unrest is always just below the surface. Whether local, national, or international, the cycle of injustice seems to never stop. Once again, a nation violates the rules of war (an oxymoron if I have ever heard one) and nations respond in justice for the helpless. But peace is too often temporary. Even though the United States of America is the best of the best, we continue to struggle with blind justice for all people. And even in our very community, fairness fails.
Have you been a victim of injustice? Have you ever been turned away due to skin pigmentation? I have. Do you feel at times as if you just cannot get a break and that there is no more fairness in the world?
David, the author of Psalm 7, knows personally the sting of injustice. He cries out to God, and we benefit from his song of worship to the Jehovah Jireh (God the Provider). God provides justice, and we should be reminded that these truths remain: God is the one who will rescue (verses 1-2), judge (verses 3-5), persecute (verses 6-9), and protect (verses 10-17). We need to be ready to accept God’s justice.
This cry to God for justice is in the context of David’s worst fear and agony. He faced many enemies from the tribe of Benjamin, King Saul’s tribe. David sent Joab to lead his troops to capture his son Absalom, the very leader of the rebellion. But instead, his son was found hanging from an oak tree. Justice — death for the leader of the rebellion — was given, but for this man of God, it was not welcomed news.
Man continues to treat others with contempt. We just cannot seem to learn that we are one race, one people, one humanity. We come in all shapes and sizes, we speak different languages, our skin color varies — but we are all human. Even with that reality, it is hard to find a time in human history where one people group did not think it was superior to another. Why?
David is used to people judging him. Indeed, we still judge each other unfairly. The old saying is still true — before you judge others, walk a mile in their shoes. Then you will be a mile away, wearing their shoes, when you criticize them unfairly.
We all know peace treaties are broken. Contracts are only as good as the people who sign them, and so they often fail. The final truth in justice is to always remember that God is your judge, not people. David turned to God to rescue him. We should turn to God, too.
Indeed, when we face injustice our response is often to seek revenge. But that is never the answer. God is the one who will right injustice (Deuteronomy 32:35, Hebrews 10:30). When will we learn that evil brings destruction and crime does not pay? Certain actions result in certain problems. God will never be mocked (Galatians 6:7). And God is the one who will protect. God was Abram’s shield (Genesis 15:1). And God is ready and able to be your shield.
David wanted a different answer. Only a dad can love a son who wants to kill him. But he accepted God’s answer. His son was dead.
This psalm of worship is extraordinary. It teaches us that God is just, that after every prayer we should accept the answer and then thank God for the answer. Especially when the answer is unwelcomed news.
Dr. D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University.