When Injustice Reigns

When Injustice Reigns
Eccl. 8:10-14
“There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked.  On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous.  I say that this too is futility.”

Traditional wisdom informs us that God blesses the righteous, and the wicked will suffer calamity because of their sin. In Proverbs 10, we find a discourse on the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.  Traditional wisdom informs us that “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.  The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Prov. 10:6-8).  In the moral order established by God, we obtain blessing and prosperity when we walk in obedience to God, for this is the promise of the law given to Moses (see the blessings and curses of the law in Deut. 28).  However, Solomon takes a closer examination of life. He discovers a shocking truth:  The wicked often experience prosperity and blessing while the righteous suffer hardships and tragedy.  Sin turned the moral order of God upside down. Instead of the wicked suffering, it is the righteous.  However, Solomon is not alone in this assessment.  The Psalmist in Psalm 73 expresses the same frustration; “But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped.  For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (vs 2-3).  That same is true for us. We look about us, and it seems the wicked are winning the day.  They get the press's and politicians' attention as they promote the new morality.  They are praised for their dedication to promoting their cause at all costs, while the righteous are condemned as bigots, sexist, and racist when they stand up for Biblical morality, ethics, and marriage.  It is easy to become discouraged and cave into the pressure and rhetoric of those who oppose Biblical morality. In today’s world, the government approves and promotes moral distortion while condemning and threatening those who uphold Biblical morality.   Hoever, this distortion of all levels of society is not new.  Solomon laments that even in his day, evil is quickly overlooked.  Sin goes unchecked.  This was the same observation as the Psalmist.  In a broken and fallen world, The wicked increase wealth while the righteous suffer (73:11-12).  

This brings us to the critical question: How can we respond to a world where sin is celebrated and righteousness is condemned?  How do we regain a proper perspective?  To discover the answer, we must not look at the present but at the end.  We must reflect on the end of the age and what is in store for the righteous and the wicked (Eccl. 8:12-13). The answer for the sage (as well as the Psalmist) is to remember that the temporal acceptance and approval of sin is not the end of the story.  In the end, God will bring judgment upon sin.  The proper perspective of life is not found by examining the present but by considering the future, when God will bring judgment upon the wicked.  While heaven seems silent in response to sin in the present, heaven will not always remain silent.  The present delay of judgment is an opportunity for people to repent and seek the redemptive truth of God (2 Peter 3:9).  However, there will come a day when God will bring justice and execute his judgment upon sin and sinners (Psalm 73:17-20). In the future, God will bring justice by rewarding those who fear him (Eccl. 8:12) while executing justice upon sinners (8:13).

When we witness the rejection of the truth of God’s word and the righteousness He established, it can be tempting to believe that the silence of heaven implies its approval.  However, the present silence does not indicate God’s indifference.  There will come a time when God will judge sin, not by the world's standards, but by the standard of His righteous character. Instead of following what is popular, we must strive to pursue the righteousness of Christ, for that is the basis for judgment for all humanity. When Christ returns, God will bring salvation to the righteous while executing judgment upon those who rejected him.  The question is, what will we face for the delay in his judgment should never be mistaken to mean God’s approval of our actions.

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