“There it is. That’s the one,” she said, pointing to a small nightclub on a rocky, Central American road. “That’s where they traffic children. They abduct them from their village, drug them, beat them, and then rent them out there.” My heart quickened, and I had a dream.
With the Bourne Identity’s theme song playing, I was walking away (in slow motion) from the nightclub. The children had been rescued, the building was in flames, and I wasn’t sure, nor did I care, if the traffickers had made it out alive.
But it was just a dream – a dream that led me to ask, “Should we fight for justice, or should we wait for it to come when God returns?”
How we answer that theological question impacts our attitudes and actions. And It impacts our world.
I think that the best Biblical answer to the question is, “Yes.”
God teaches us through Scripture that we are to seek justice. The book of Amos is a giant rebuke and severe warning/promise to those who are unjust (especially those who take advantage of the poor, and who cheat in the courts). Micah 6:8 is one of the great verses in the Bible, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
There is a lot of injustice in this world. God desires us to not sit back with eyes closed, unconcerned, or complacent. Justice requires action. I don’t think that God’s will is for me to blow up buildings. But I do have opportunities to create safe havens for the oppressed, to encourage governments to do what is right, and to support those who are making positive changes. I can honor Jesus’ teachings on love by pursuing justice in these ways. To do nothing about injustices is to sin against God and show disdain for His creation.
But the Bible also tells us that God will bring ultimate justice and we are to be waiting on Him (see Isaiah 30:18; 51:5). This is needed instruction, because the danger in fighting for justice is that we begin to think that the fight is about us. We can become hateful. We can declare enemies, when Jesus tells us to love all. And we can become consumed with an outcome, rather than finding peace that God will one day make things right. We can lose our path. We can lose our faith. We can do more harm than good.
Hosea 12:6 says, “Maintain love and justice; and wait for your God always.”
So, yes, we are commanded to seek justice, to speak for the oppressed, and to work for change.
And, yes, we are to wait for God to bring about ultimate justice. It’s his job to judge the world. It’s his job to make all things right. And it’s our job to take contentment, peace and hope in that.
Trustee, Blackbox International