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Justice

Briefing: As a law enforcement officer, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to preserve justice.

Dispatch (Assignment): Without looking anything up answer this question. What is justice?

On the Street: God hates injustice. God is truth and light. Injustice is falsehood practiced hiding in the shadows. Justice is maintaining what is right by impartial third persons (law enforcement, judges, God). By this definition I can finally start to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” John 12:47 (NIV). If this definition is correct, Jesus could not judge us because He loved us too much. He is our defender, Satan is our accuser, and God is the righteous judge.

In the Bible, justice seems to be as big a part as compassion. Micah 6:8 (ESV), “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Our God is a just God. Those who give their life to Jesus will be saved by His grace and mercy. Those who are not saved will face justice. Make no mistake about it, we are all sinners and deserve noting except God’s wrath. By our sin we are guilty, and through our guilt we deserve punishment, that is justice. It is only by His grace and mercy that those who believe in Christ and walk in His ways will be saved.

If you are not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ then you need to pay real close attention to the Proverbs on justice. Anyone who is not saved will stand before the righteous judge, God, and have to answer for their sins. There is no defense to prosecution if you don’t have Jesus as your defender. If you have been saved by the blood, you still to pay attention because Jesus calls us to live a life that imitates Him.

How long has justice been around? August Vollmer is credited with being the “father of modern law enforcement.” He was Chief of the Berkeley, California Police Department from 1909 to 1923. Prior to Vollmer we had the “old west” type of law enforcement: Wyatt Earp, the Texas Rangers, and Judge Roy Bean. If you go way back to England in the middle ages they had sheriffs and constables. You can trace justice all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Believe it or not, the oldest profession in the world is the law enforcement officer. The Bible says when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, guards with flaming swords were placed at the gates to deny entry.

You can’t have a civilized society without a group of people who enforce the laws and protect its citizens. The Jewish system was all about laws. The entire book of Leviticus was written to explain Jewish law. The Proverbs on justice and injustice were not meant to be laws, but reminders of common sense issues that people have forgotten. These proverbs are reminders of how we are to act and not act. This is a law enforcement devotional but all people are called to act justly.

In Proverbs (KNJV) 8:20-21 wisdom is describing itself: “I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.”

Proverbs 14:19 (HCSB), “The evil bow before those who are good, the wicked, at the gates of the righteous.”

Proverbs 22:17-21 (NKJV), “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?”

Proverbs 16:10-15 (NKJV), “Divination is on the lips of the king; his mouth must not transgress in judgment. Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are His work. It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and they love him who speaks what is right. As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, but a wise man will appease it. In the light of the king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.”

Proverbs 17:26 (NIV), “If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right.”

Proverbs 21:15 (HCSB), “Justice executed is a joy to the righteous but a terror to those who practice iniquity.”

Proverbs 24:19-20 (KNJV), “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the wicked; For there will be no prospect for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Proverbs 24:23-25 (KNJV), “These things also belong to the wise: it is not good to show partiality in judgment. He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”

Proverbs 25:26 (HCSB), “A righteous person who yields to the wicked is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.”

Proverbs 28:1-5 (NKJV), “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge right will be prolonged. A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no food. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.”

Proverbs 28:21 (NIV), “To show partiality is not good, yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.”

Proverbs 29:4 (HCSB), “By justice a king brings stability to a land, but a man who demands “contributions” demolishes it.”

Proverbs 29:12 (HCSB), “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials will be wicked.”

Proverbs 29:26 (HCSB), “Many seek a ruler’s favor, but a man receives justice from the Lord.”

There are several kinds of injustice that Proverbs addresses. Among these are dishonesty and cheating.

Proverbs 11:1 (NKJV), “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.”

Proverbs 16:8 (HCSB), “Wickedness is atoned for by loyalty and faithfulness, and one turns from evil by the fear of the Lord”

Proverbs 20:10 (NIV), “Differing weights and differing measures, the Lord detests them both.”

Proverbs 20:17 (NKJV), “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”

Proverbs 20:23 (NKJV), “Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord, and dishonest scales are not good.”

God is truth. He hates lying.

Proverbs 3:30 (NIV), “Do not accuse anyone for no reason when they have done you no harm.”

Proverbs 14:5 (HCSB), “An honest witness does not deceive, but a dishonest witness utters lies.”

Proverbs 14:25 (HCSB), “A truthful witness rescues lives, but one who utters lies is deceitful.”

Proverbs 17:15 (NKJV), “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”

Proverbs 18:17 (NKJV), “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.”

Proverbs 19:5 (NKJV), “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.”

Proverbs 19:9 (NKJV), “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish.”

Proverbs 19:28 (NKJV), “A disreputable witness scorns justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.”

Proverbs 21:28 (NKJV), “A false witness shall perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly.”

Proverbs 24:28-29 (HCSB), “Don’t testify against your neighbor without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips. Don’t say, “I’ll do to him what he did to me; I’ll repay the man for what he has done.”

Proverbs 25:18 (NIV), “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.”

There is justice in helping the poor and helpless. There is injustice in turning your back on them. While we are on this earth we are called to help each other.

Proverbs 13:23 (NIV), “An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away.”

Proverbs 15:27 (HCSB), “The one who profits dishonestly troubles his household, but the one who hates bribes will live.”

Proverbs 17:5 (HCSB), “The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker, and one who rejoices over calamity will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 18:5 (NKJV), “It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.”

Proverbs 22:22-23 (NIV), “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.”

Proverbs 22:28 (NKJV), “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”

Proverbs 23:10-11 (NKJV), “Do not remove the ancient landmark, nor enter the fields of the fatherless; For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.”

Proverbs 29:7 (HCSB), “The righteous person knows the rights of the poor, but the wicked one does not understand these concerns. Mockers inflame a city, but the wise turn away anger.”

Proverbs 29:14 (HCSB), “A king who judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever.”

Investigational Resources: Deuteronomy 10:18, 16:20, John 1:5, 12:47, Ephesians 5:11, Jeremiah 9:24, Ecclesiastes 8:11, Micah 6:8, Romans 7:12, 22, Galatians 3:10-13

Officer Safety Principle: Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!

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