" /> Day of Judgment
Central Kentucky Bible Students
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God's Four Main Attributes

Justice


 

God’s Four Great Attributes
Justice, Love, Wisdom, and Power

This Month We’re Examining

 

Justice

 

“He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.”  Micah 6:8

 

Mankind was made in God’s image and even though mankind has fallen from perfection into sin and death, aspects of God’s character of justice are detected, to one degree or another, in the majority of mankind.  This is seen throughout the past 6000 years of human history.  For example, in AD 1215 King John of England, after years of governmental mismanagement and the levying of heavy taxation, faced rebellion.  To placate his subjects he signed what became known as the Magna Carta, the first written constitution in European history.   Clause 39 of the charter gives all ‘free men’ the right to justice and a fair trial.  The Magna Carta’s core values are found today in the “United States Bill of Rights (1791) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950).” It  “retains enormous symbolic power as an ancient defense against arbitrary and tyrannical rulers, and as a guarantor of individual liberties.”1 This idea of justice was voiced many centuries before the Magna Carta in the book of Isaiah. “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isa. 10:1)

This desire for justice is voiced universally. From the headlines, we read “Ukraine Seeks Justice,” after its airliner is shot down over Iran, “Father Seeks Justice in His Son’s Fatal Overdose,” “Slain Texas Woman’s Family Seeks Justice,” after daughter found fatally shot in car, “Peruvians Seeks Justice for Women,” “Indonesian Reporter Seeks Justice,” after losing an eye, covering the Hong Kong Protests, “Colombian Artist Seeks Justice for the Natural World,” “Lawyer Aims to Seek Justice for Homeless Population,” "In Japan, survivors of Catholic Church sex abuse speak out to seek justice," "Uganda's most marginalized people seek justice," "Family and Black Lives Matter Organizers Seek Justice." The list goes on and on, but what is justice? Why does mankind so desperately seek it?

What is Justice?

Merriam Webster defines justice as “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” “An estimated 253 million people live in extreme conditions of injustice and are deprived of any meaningful legal protections: 40 million people are modern-day slaves, 12 million people are stateless, and 200 million live in countries or communities where levels of insecurity are so high that they are unable to seek justice, the team found. ”These individuals have no access to justice.

“The words "access to justice" are admittedly not easily defined, but they serve to focus on two basic purposes of -the legal system-the system by which people may vindicate their rights and/or resolve their disputes under the general auspices of the state. First, the system must be equally accessible to all; second, it must lead to results that are individually and socially just.”2 We see clearly that worldwide people long for justice and that worldwide many do not have access to it.  Let us now examine God’s attitude toward justice and His solution for the lack of justice seen today.

Justice

The Foundation of God’s Character

 

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; all His ways are just. A God of faithfulness without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” Deut. 32:4

“The Bible declaration that Justice is the foundation of the Divine Kingdom or Throne gives the mind pictorially an appreciation of the value of justice in its relationship to every element of the Divine character. "Be just before you are generous," is a proverb amongst men, which evidently is in full accord with what the Scriptures declare of God’s character. He is first just—never anything less than just. His Wisdom, His Power, His Love must all co-ordinate with and rest upon this quality of Justice. And so it is with all those who would copy this character. They must first be just. A character built upon a foundation to any extent ignoring this is faulty, improper, and sinful. The first man, made in God’s image and moral likeness, must have had Justice as the foundation of his character. And all of his descendants still possess this quality, though in varying degrees. We call it also Conscientiousness, Righteousness. Some, indeed, have this quality in so weak a degree that it is easily overbalanced by their other stronger qualities of mind, such as acquisitiveness, approbativeness, etc. It is for this reason that prisons are necessary to restrain all the stronger organs of men’s minds and to encourage their conscientiousness, their sense of justice, righteousness. These standards of righteousness have, from the first, been considered and esteemed the Divine standards, and are still so esteemed, except by atheists.”4

A mind of flesh leads to injustice worldwide. For example, The World Trade Organization issued rulings on trade related aspects of intellectual properity rights. “Patents are arguably the strongest form of IPRs (intellectual property rights). A patent typically is issued by a government agency – in the United States, for example, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) – upon successful evaluation of an application. It confers to the inventor the sole right to exclude others from economically exploiting the innovation (by making it, using it, selling it, etc.) for a limited time (20 years from the date of filing, for most countries).”5 What does this mean?  It means that the World Trade Organization gave companies the right to sole control of their inventions for 20 years.  For example, if a company invents a life saving drug that company has complete control of pricing and distribution.  No other company can develop a similar drug and sale it at a lower price. Upon first consideration this seems fair.  Companies and individuals invest time, effort, and financial assets in developing products.  Shouldn’t their rights to reap the benefits of their efforts be protected?

“Under the WTO’s (World Trade Organization) intellectual property (IP) regime, all member countries are required to provide exclusive marketing rights to holders of patents on pharmaceutical products for a period of at least twenty years. By restricting the right of governments to allow the production, marketing, and import of low-cost copies of patented medicines (called generic drugs), the WTO’s rules will restrict competition, increase prices, and further reduce the already limited access of poor people to vital medicines.
Much of the premature death and disability associated with infectious disease could be avoided, and the health gap closed, if poor people had access to affordable medicines. Yet those most in need are least able to afford treatment. Across the developing world, household poverty, inadequate public spending, and weak public- health infrastructures combine to place effective treatment beyond the means of the poor.
Pharmaceutical companies and Northern governments justify reinforced patent protection under the WTO as necessary to stimulate investment in finding cures for infectious diseases in developing countries. They also argue that the exclusive marketing rights provided by patents represent a legitimate reward for the high levels of investment and risk associated with developing new drugs.”6

How does selfishness play into this situation? At first glance, it would seem that the selfishness of greed plays the major role in this situation, but shouldn’t companies receive “legitimate reward for high levels of investment?” Is it not selfishness on the part of individuals to demand low cost generic drugs when the companies providing them put no effort or financial investment into development? Against this argument, we might ask what is legitimate compensation?  How much profit is acceptable? What is the answer?
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8

It is God’s will that mankind deal justly with each other. "This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Administer true justice. Show loving devotion and compassion to one another.” (Zech 7:9)  Christ taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Is God’s will, as related to justice, being done in the earth today?  We must shout a resounding “No.”  The scriptures tell us in 1John 5:19 that the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.  Selfishness and injustice are a manifestation of man’s fall and Satan’s influence.  All society including governments, commercial interests, and religious institutions are to a greater or lesser degree influenced by Satan. For justice to reign, in the earth, all vestiges of sin and Satan’s evil influence must be swept from this earth.  Isaiah 42:1-4 speaking prophetically of Christ states:

1 “Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My Chosen One, in whom my soul delights.
I will put My Spirit on Him, And He will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the streets. 3 A bruised reed He will not break. And a smoldering wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow weak or discouraged Before He has established justice on the earth. In His law the islands will put their hope.”

It is through God’s Kingdom, administered by Christ Jesus that true justice will reign in the earth. It is what Christians pray for when they say “Thy kingdom come.” Under this new administration or government, mankind will be dwelt with in justice and practicing justice toward their fellow man will be required of them.  Then we will “see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.”  (Amos 5:24)

All mankind will learn to reflect God’s attribute of justice.

 

Next Month

we will examine God's attribute of Power


Footnotes

 

1. Breay, Claire and Harrison, Jullian, “Magna Carta: An Introduction” (2014). https://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-an-introduction 

2. Hodal, Kate, “Poor bear the brunt as global justice system fails 5.1 billion people – study” (2019). https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/apr/29/global-justice-system-fails-5-billion-people-study

3. Garth, Bryant G. and Cappelletti, Mauro, "Access to Justice: The Newest Wave in the Worldwide Movement to Make Rights Effective" (1978). Articles by Maurer Faculty. Paper 1142.
http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/facpub/1142

4. Russell, Charles T., “The Golden Rule,” Overland Monthly, 229. http://www.ctrussell.us/ctrussell.nsf/22284ee7f683acc9862566bd000b 278c/90528c390e5ebc4986256b2e004f3e78?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,justice

5. Anania, G., Bohman, M., Carter, C., and McCalla, A., eds., Agricultural Policy Reform and the WTO: Where Are We Heading?, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004.

6. Oxfam GB in February 2001.
Published by Oxfam GB under ISBN 978-1-84814-141-4 in October 2010.

*Image by succo from Pixabay