injustice and oppression

The world is unfair. Look at all the oppressions done under the sun! Injustice and cruelty are the norm. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor and the poor are plundered. People are exploited, defrauded, and violated. Another rape. Another school shooting. Another victim. Another senseless loss. Where there should be justice, there is wickedness, and where there should be righteousness, there is wickedness. It seems like justice is turned back and righteousness stands far away. Truth stumbles in the public square, if it even bothers to show up. Parents are dishonored, spouses are cheated on, children are abused. Injustice is in the community, in the business world, and in the courts of law. It reminds me of the U2 song, “I can’t believe the news today, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.”

And of what help is the government? What good is government? Do politics help? The oppressors have the power and there is no one to comfort the oppressed. Leaders make unjust laws and keep writing oppression (Isaiah 10:1). Wicked rulers band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death (Psalm 94:21). They put heavy loads on the backs of the weak and vulnerable. They slaughter children, like Pharaoh or Herod of old. They wipe their hands of the situation, like Pilate. “Government is a necessary evil,” Augustine said; it is still evil. Government is not immune from the problems of injustice and oppression.

The Lord is in charge. He hates injustice and oppression: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19). The Lord will repay with affliction those who afflict and grant relief to those who are afflicted, but when? “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed (2 Thess 1:6-10).” Until then, we Christians, the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus, live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor, and justice for the oppressed. We have God’s Word, the power of the Spirit, and prayer, and we fight against spiritual forces of evil, injustice, and oppression. We take a firm stand and speak with a loud voice on issues such as gender and marriage, sanctity of life, or race. Our sinful society needs constant reform, and we continue to declare the good news of Jesus, who can fix what is broken. We show compassion to “the least of these” until He returns. “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”