According to the English to English Dictionary, justice is defined as a judgment involving the determination of rights and the assignment of rewards and punishment. In other words, it is a theory where fairness is administered. As human beings, we have rights that protect us from other people who want to hurt, exploit, or oppress us. These rights are guided by the laws which have been implemented by governments, through the legislative system. This justice is earthly or man-made.
God has His own justice as well, which He has put on His own people (creation). Man actually copied the norms of justice from God, because God’s justice has been in existence since creation (Genesis 18:19).
God’s justice moves or is inter-connected with righteousness (Tsedeo). Justice is the outcome of righteousness. As indicated in Psalms 33:5, “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”
Justice is in two aspects namely; Primary and Secondary. As Christians, we must have a strong concern for the poor and vulnerable. Primary justice is about being in a right relationship with God, the righteous life that results is overwhelmingly social. Secondary (rectifying) justice means punishing the wrongdoers and caring for the victims of unjust treatment. There are four types of justice that people can seek redress when they are wronged, namely:
(1) Redemptive Justice
(2) Remunerative Justice.
(3) Retributive Justice
(4) Restorative Justice
Divine justice is redemptive. Jesus came to bring justice by being crucified; He did this through mercy and love (compassion and humility). Romans 8:1-4 illustrates the forgiveness and justification that Jesus brought and how it saves us from eternal sin. The greatest justice that ever happened is forgiveness and mercy. As Christians, we are called upon to be practicing justice through love, mercy, compassion, and walking with God in humility.
Remunerative means to reward someone or being faithful to God. God gives rewards to His people that are faithful to Him and righteous. 1 Samuel 26:23 states that “The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness.” This imparts His moral character in us.
This is the punishment to the wicked for their wrong actions. God will have time to punish those that have wronged/sinned. Deuteronomy 32:35 says, “It’s mine to avenge, I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” It is not mine to execute justice, but for the Lord alone. This also builds character to us as we leave vengeance to the Lord.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE (RELATIONAL)
Restoration means putting things back as they were. It is peace building of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Justice is for God alone and not ours; henceforth, we must leave vengeance and reward to Him only. We should be aware that it takes God’s will or discernment for us to do justice.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kamima Botha – 2018 Immersion Intern