When we look at the world around us, sometimes we can feel like there is scant little justice. However, as today's proverb reminds us, in the end, the fate of the wicked is their own destruction. As Paul wisely encouraged the Roman believers, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23)
We may want to exert our own will, or our own justice but ultimately we need to be content with the Justice of the Cross: Jesus paid the price for the sins of the world. We are told that the wicked "refuse to do what is just" rejecting that dearly won Justice paid for by the blood of the Messiah.
How do we then, as children of God and heirs of the kingdom of heaven do what is just? Certainly by accepting the sacrifice and Lordship of Jesus. But also, in doing everything we can to see that others accept that justice for themselves. Jesus taught his disciples what this looks like when "Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)
This can be hard, as it doesn't SEEM fair or just. But we have to look at justice and forgiveness as God does. Forgiveness is canceling a debt, no longer holding someone liable to "pay it back" for a wrong they committed. There is still accountability, still too there can be consequences. But we have to let go of feeling like we are owed anything from those who have wronged us. Jesus paid it all.
God's justice as well is focused on restoration, not retribution. The wicked, who refuse to accept this offer of reconciliation will be swept away in the end. We cannot add or subtract to anyone's debt of sin, even if it involves us. Our lives are not our own, we belong to God.
When someone does us wrong, they owe God a debt, not us. And the debt has already been paid. If a brother or sister in Christ has sinned, and it affects you, would you have Jesus be crucified all over again to satisfy your need for justice? Or if an unbeliever sins against God, refusing to accept Jesus' sacrifice for that debt, would you add a penalty to that greater than Hell itself to feel justice is done?
Yes, the wicked shall be swept away, and scripture promises us, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) One of the ways Jesus is revealed to us at the beginning of that book of scripture is "Him who is, and who was, and who is to come'' (Revelation 1:4)
This being God's nature, we know his actions are true in the same way. The Justice of Christ is being done today, was done in the past, and will be done in the future. It eternally is. To be righteous, is to be a part of "doing what is just" and ensuring the Good News is proclaimed to all, especially those whom we feel have wronged us.
So today, let's seek out God's justice in our lives, choosing peace over violence and love over hate. We do not need to get swept up in the violence and destruction of the wicked. We can rest assured that when we act in faith and choose to forgive the debts of others, we will be blessed with a peace from God that passes all human understanding.