Fear is respect and it has to be taught. Moses was instructed to teach it to the children (Deut. 4:10). The leaders were to be guided by the fear of the Lord (Lev. 25:43). Without fear justice would be perverted, favoritism and partiality would become a way of life (Lev. 19:15). Jethro, Priest of the Most High and father-in-law to Moses gave this advice regarding a criterion for leadership, “But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over the people” (Ex. 18:21). The fear of God was a thermometer to Israel and it should be one to us. Moses warned his people that when they stop fearing God, they would experience the plagues of Egypt and be scattered among the nations (Deut. 28:15-68). After the death of Joshua, whom Moses had selected and appointed as leader, Israel no longer feared the Lord. Israel did evil in his sight of God (Jud. 2:10). The nation would do well under God fearing men like Samuel and David and poorly under godless leaders. The historians repeatedly cited the cause as a lack of fear in the Lord (II Ki. 17:25-34). Ultimately, Israel was plagued by invasions and carried off into captivity never to return. Later, Judah suffered the same fate; but a remnant was allowed to return and rebuilt the land. Christianity that seeks to bypass God’s Law shall face a similar fate (Ro. 11:22).
Israel has become an example for the U.S.A. Our leaders have abandoned God and His justice system. Their secular legislation is intolerable and unfair to Christians. We are not allowed to pray or read our Bible in public. We may not use God’s Word to expose evil and perversion. We cannot teach creation. The name “Jesus” our Lord is being shunned. To add insult to injury, Christians must pay taxes to support our godless society that expounds evolution, abortion, perversion and a host anti Christian behaviors. What they deny to Christians, they now grant to Moslems. Yes, we do have a form of justice that is incomprehensible and completely blinded by what lies ahead.
We have been duped in allowing secular liberalists to replace God with Mammon. The inscription on our money mocks our justice system. Someone once said, “Mammon holds the one outpost Christianity has not been able to conquer” (Wa. 1725). “Money is a purchaser of anything except happiness and a passport to any place except heaven” (Wa. 1726). Andrew Carnegie, who knew how to make money and how to use it, had this advice, “As a rule, the almighty dollar bequeathed to sons and daughters by millions proves an almighty curse” (Wa. 1728). Whether we are wealthy or poor, we all hold out our hands and hope that someone may fill our greedy hearts. We want to be rewarded for doing something we are told is politically correct. We have come to the heart of Jesus statement; namely, that we must hunger and thirst after justice. We must want justice as much as we want food and water. Even these basic elements necessary for our existence, depend on how they are acquired and distributed. Justice is very much like the bloodstream of a human body, which allows nutrition to reach all its vital organs. Any blockage to any part of the body can cause paralyses or even death. Man must not spare any cost to keep the justice system running. Any perversion or minor alteration will result in chaotic consequences.
What does it mean to be hungry and thirsty for justice? I was a refugee and I did beg and steal for food and water. My wife’s family fared worse. They survived on thistles and dandelions. Women sold their honor to feed their children. People traded all their valuables for food. Our money was absolutely useless. We were disowned, homeless and destitute. We had nothing to trade and no one to defend us. What caused this injustice? The Allies allowed the French to violate the armistice, invade and plunder Germany. It became Hitler’s slogan and rise to power. The Allies saw it coming and did nothing to stop it. They even appeased Hitler and Stalin for making us homeless. The Allied leaders closed their eyes to justice and let injustice flourish. At the end, we the displaced people paid the heaviest price for their mistakes. In spite of the hardships and losses in lives and properties, we regarded ourselves as being blessed for not being shipped back to Stalin and for no longer living under Hitler.
When Jesus told his followers to hunger and thirst after righteousness, his people were only one generation away from being terminated as a nation by Rome. They were at a dead end and did not recognize it. They did hunger and thirst after righteousness; that was not the kind Jesus had offered. They longed for justice to come down from the top and not up from the bottom. They wanted their leaders and their government to be just, but they, themselves, did not want do what was right. It did not dawn on them, just as it did not on us, that the reason there is injustice was and is that the people let it happen. Once it happened then they began agitating injustice by putting more coal on the fire. We are doing the same thing with our injustice. The people must want something bad enough even starve for justice, before they attempt some solution. With Jesus, it always started with an attitude or with the heart. Jesus gave us an example with a persistent widow. It begins with a praying attitude and then persists in begging the judge to consider her case. God still comes to the rescue and softens the hardest heart and wears it out with compassion with what is right. The widow ended being blessed with justice. Jesus promised that God would bring about justice to his chosen ones in the world; however, we the chosen ones, must believe strong enough for it to happen (Lk. 18:1-8)? Regarding endurance, Jesus, Himself, appeared to have been skeptical.
The Biblical records are not encouraging for justice to improve fully or completely. The world is not conducive to the cry for justice by those that were severely hurt. It does not have the ability to compensate for the loss of life or even a limb. At best, human justice can help appease, reconcile and even vindicate (Lk. 12:57-59). It can take a life but not give it back. Many minor cases can be settled without legal assistance, but what about damages that are beyond human ability and means to repair or rectify? What did Jesus mean that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled? The underlying Greek verb is “chortazo” and it means to eat until one is filled or satisfied. Our text uses the future passive and it declares that there can be no completion of justice until those that are hurt have been satisfied. How is this possible? How did Jesus fill the cup of justice? He dispensed it with forgiveness (Lk. 23:34). He expects the same dispensation of forgiveness from his followers. And the reason is that God will not rule in our favor unless we have forgiven those that trespassed against us (Mt. 6:14-15). Jesus was talking to his disciples and hoped that they would influence the world (Mt. 5:13-16). Over time, Christians themselves misapplied justice. The Commandment, “You shall not kill” alone has overloaded the prison system and impoverished the country. It became too compassionate with hardened criminals and too harsh on victims. It has led to a legal system where right is wrong and wrong is right. And our lawmakers are not the first to accomplish this feat and ruined a country (Gen. 6:5; Isa. 5:20).
What comes next? Individuals do repent and change course, but nations seldom do. That is why Jesus told the lawmaker Nicodemus, he had to change before he could change his legal system (Jn. 3). Nicodemus, and those like him, could not correct justice and righteousness died. It was replaced by Roman absolutism. This phenomenon has reoccurred multiple times in history and is now parked at our door. In fact, Christians have helped drag in the Trojan horse and left it unattended. The occupants of the horse have opened the gate and brought in their army of absolutists. It is not the liberal magna that runs this country and prides itself of having deposed Christ and His laws? It is a far more absolute system that shall take the liberals to task and then continue to diminish the Christian population. We Christians have no one to blame but ourselves. We are reaping what we have sowed (Gal. 6:7). We have separated ourselves from the world and now we are crying because we cannot get back in. We have lost our mission field in the western world.
What about Jesus’ prediction that the cry of being punished for doing what is right shall be avenged? Jesus promised to build His Church and hell could not stop it (Mt. 16:18). Hell is loose on earth (Rev. 12:7-8) and justice for Christians has become elusive (Rev. 6:9-11). Some still hope that the “rock cut out of the mountain” in Daniel is an image of Christ conquering the world and fill it with justice (Da. 2:44-45). Jesus’ personal command to his disciples was to spread the gospel to all nations and not dominate them (Mt. 28:19-20). Also, Christianity has been too passive and submissive to be symbolized by a rock. The image is more fitting for an aggressive Islam. The only hope left for Christians is the reappearance of Christ as the final Judge that can usher in the kingdom of God. Thus far, the Peters of the world and the other disciples have been more interested in pretending to sit on their Master’s right and left hand than they have been in justice. If there is to be a godly justice, it can only be proven by doing what is right (Ja. 4:17; Lk. 12:57-59). To do so, man must be touched by grace; for without it, man will never attain justice for all.