Vengeance belongs to God. A true statement but not one that often satisfies our flesh. It's a difficult thing when you observe a situation that appeared unfair and even more-so when the outcome ends in a whisper. Anything other than immediate justice is often met with regret. If we were in charge, could we say without a shadow of a doubt that we had the perfect way of deciding how justice should be served? 99% certain is still a 1% chance of error. If we got it wrong, could we live with this on our conscience? Being level-headed in a heated situation is never easy but necessary. What's in the dark, always comes to light.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
1 Corinthians 4:5
There are some battles that only end up in more frustration. Sometimes the only answer is to let things run its course, for there is a fine line between justice and full on rebellion. At that point we become no better than those we see as guilty.
“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:9
What is justice?
At its core, the goal of justice should always be the preservation of life according to the righteousness of God. Personal biases, often see our attempts at justice drift away into pleasing ourselves.
“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”
Our justice is a form of justice. The type of justice we may think we deserve may actually be too much for us to stomach. That is unless we're willing to do what's necessary. When God provides justice it's a fearful thing.
Case in point: Solomon and the stolen baby
There were two pregnant women living together that were described as being harlots. From the outside they were dirty and both were on even playing ground. I find this noteworthy because in God's eyes we are all equal. We have all sinned.
“For there is no respect of persons with God.”
One of the new mothers' sadly lost her child. To rectify her loss, she sought to switch the other woman's living baby and hers' while she slept. The guilty woman found a loophole in the "system" to escape imminent hurt for her losses. Committing an error while attempting to avoid the repercussions. Escaping imminent judgement is not however escaping God's judgement.
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Now it was time for King Solomon to decide the dispute. In a day and time where there were no DNA tests or court full of witnesses to testify, how would you rightly settle this matter? Solomon had no scientific advancements to back him but the man of wisdom had a weapon that never fails.
Yes, Solomon brought a sword to a court fight. Are we willing or capable of handling that sword? If not, we may not receive the justice we believe we deserve. Solomon was far from perfect but when he used that sword he did so to great effect. That sword drew something out of the mother of the living.
“Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it...”
- 1 Kings 3:26
The sword drew righteous love out of a harlot. Not everyone with a bad story has a bad heart. The true mother would rather see her living child in the arms of someone else over being dead in hers'. The selflessness that took is remarkable. Not only selflessness but it would have also taken forgiveness. The innocent party would have had to forgive a person she knew her in heart was wrong. Love and forgiveness, as foreign as it may seem to the justice process, is vital. Never lose the peace God gave you. When the righteous are involved, that righteousness tends to pour out. When righteousness shows, the unrighteous becomes exposed...
“...But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.”
- 1 Kings 3:26
The mother of the dead now appeared cold-hearted. All it takes is one moment for our light to go dim. If this woman had not lost her child, does she commit this horrible act? When we open that door to evil, we cannot control what demons walk through to join the party. At this point, the thief did not actually want the baby. She was walking in a spirit that did not want another woman to have her living child.
For modern minds, why would Solomon use such barbaric tactics? As simple as it was, his approach was a shadow and a template of how we are to now seek justice. How do we get justice when it looks like justice cannot be found? Use the sword.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Using a sword physically can take a life, using it spiritually may save one. The sword of God separates the real from the fake, the vain from the humble and the sensual from the spiritual. Above all it reveals what's within us, giving us the opportunity to get our act together.
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:2
The fight for justice usually means innocent blood has been shed. How far we take this fight could result in further pain. When innocent blood is shed, the blood of the innocent is required. Some of us cannot forgive without returning wrath. Well, innocent blood was shed and wrath was not spared. Both were administered to Jesus Christ for us. This justice came out of the love of God for his people. Justice that would give us wisdom, wealth and more blessings than we deserve.
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
When Israel heard of the judgment of Solomon, fear fell upon them. Fear fell upon me the first time I read this story to be fair. I feared because I thought Solomon was crazy. Such is the manifold wisdom of God. Now I fear in reverence and in awe of serving a God capable of delivering justice where it seems like there is none. To my extended family, I pray the God of all give us peace in these trying times, helps us to forgive and support one another in love. We serve a just God.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. ”