Justice for all!
Today’s Proverb: Showing partiality to the wicked is not good, nor is depriving the innocent of justice. Proverbs 18:5
Hmm. I had always thought of this verse as two separate themes. Not showing partiality toward the wicked, then ensuring justice toward the innocent if/when they are accused. But, I think I was missing the connective tissue within this proverb.
When we show favorable bias toward the wicked, we deprive the innocent — the victim/victims — their justice. From schoolyard bullies to terrorists to evil men in power, there are inevitably victims. If the powers-to-be do not choose to see justice through, then not only do the wicked prosper, but the innocent are victimized again.
Why would someone show partiality to the wicked? Fear. Control. A means toward their own agenda. All reasons that rob from the innocent.
What about mercy? Is mercy partiality? Mercy acknowledges the wrong. It brings a verdict of guilty for the wrong. The guilty one is repentant and wants to do right by the victim. It is in that space that mercy can be given — when there is a potential of reconciliation or restoration.
Only our Heavenly Father can see into the hearts of humanity. We can’t. Mercy should not be cheapened in the name of some lofty Utopian ideal where no one is accountable. Mercy takes a high level of wisdom.
If you are in a position of authority, whether as a teacher, police officer, lawyer or judge or president, it’s important to be reminded that true justice comes at a cost to everyone, including those who mete out that justice.
It’s not easy. I am reminded this morning how important it is to pray for those in law enforcement, our judicial system, and those who govern us. Pray that God’s model of justice will be realized — for all.