Justice is a big word. We want justice for ourselves… for those we love… for those we think are mistreated. But justice defined by human opinion is not true justice; it is deception. As an example, the legislation (passed over the last half‐century here in America) demanding justice for the poor should have resulted in less poor folks. But the poor are increasing in numbers. How is this justice?
Our desire to get what we think we are entitled to goes all the way back to Eve—when the devil suggested to her that she had rights (paraphrased): “Surely, you and Adam are entitled to know the difference between good and evil, so you can be as gods (see Genesis 3:1‐6).” And from this very first example of deception, we have been fooled ever since into thinking we have a right to what usually just causes grief—if not for us, for someone else.
The devil doesn't dress up today like a serpent. He speaks primarily through human voices. But it's still the same old game:
- Take something God has given us as a privilege.
- Twist it into something else, and call it a right.
- Convince us to act on our right.
- Convince us, when we begin to experience the negative consequences of our actions, that there's no connection between the consequences and the actions.
A good example of something we've been fooled into thinking we have a right to is sex. Here's an illustration of how that game is played:
- God gives Joe and Mindy the privilege of having complete sexual freedom within their marriage. If it feels good to both of them, then they can do it. And should children result, Joe and Mindy have the privilege of being parents.
- Satan comes along and convinces Joe that he has a right to other sexual experiences—such as pornography and strip clubs.
- People start to make money off Joe's “right” to have sex and they begin to see opportunity. They convince Joe of even more options—sex with other men's wives, with other men, with electronic gadgets, with prostitutes… in unmentionable ways Joe couldn't even dream up on his own. And entire industries are born.
- Politicians come along to protect Joe's new “rights” from any challenges. As Joe begins to experience the consequences of his “rights” he must be protected from ever associating these consequences with his behavior. Otherwise, entire industries will be threatened.
We have allowed ourselves to be deceived into twisting almost every privilege God has given us into a right. We have allowed the culture to demand justice for our “rights” when the culture doesn't care about our rights; it cares about money and power. And, pathetically, we have allowed ourselves to be fooled into believing our problems have nothing to do with those rights we have demanded.
Let's consider only one of many privileges we have abused. Consider what life would be like here in the United States today if the people back in 1973 had said, “We are only going to have sex the way God has authorized—between married men and women. We do not have a right to have sex in any other way.”
- The entire pornography industry would not exist.
- Sexually transmitted diseases would not exist.
- Crimes of sexual violence would not exist.
- The prostitution industry and associated ills would not exist.
- Budgets for social services would be drastically smaller by comparison.
- Over 54 million children would not have been killed.
- The contributions from these aborted children would be enriching our economy and our culture.
And this is just one consequence of one privilege we have made into a right. In how many other ways are we being played for fools? This is insanity.
When we try to make a right out of something God doesn't give us a right to, we become vulnerable to all the consequences. No man has ever avoided a hangover just because he thought he had a right to get drunk.
If we want to clean up the destruction in our lives, we must begin to see justice from God's perspective. God's justice is not the same as ours. Let's take a look at the life of Esau.
Isaac married Rebekah when he was forty years old. Because Rebekah was barren, Isaac asked God to give her children and she became pregnant with twins. The twins struggled so much in the womb, Rebekah went to God for an explanation. And God told her the older would serve the younger. When the twins were born Esau was first on the scene, with Jacob literally on his heels. (See Genesis 25:20–26.)
When the boys were older, Esau came in from the field on a day Jacob happened to be cooking some stew. Esau was hungry and wanted to eat. Jacob agreed, but only if he could trade the stew for Esau's birthright. Esau didn't see much use for his right as first‐born, since he couldn't eat it, so he agreed to the deal. (See Genesis 25:29–34.)
In his old age Isaac began to lose his eyesight. The day came when Isaac decided he should bless Esau as his first‐born—making everything official. (Isaac didn't know anything about the deal his boys had made years earlier.) Isaac sent Esau off hunting. Neither man knew Rebekah had overheard their conversation. And so the plot began. (See Genesis 27:1–5.)
Rebekah sent Jacob out to kill two young goats, so she could prepare her husband's favorite food. And because Esau's skin was hairy and Jacob's smooth, she covered Jacob's arms and neck with the skin of the goats. She then dressed Jacob in Esau's favorite clothes and sent Jacob in to his father. (See Genesis 27:6–17.)
Isaac was a bit suspicious, but after some more deception on Jacob's part Isaac pronounced the blessing of the first‐born over Jacob. (See Genesis 27:17–29.)
Of course, when Esau returned he faced bitter disappointment. He begged and pleaded with his father but all Isaac could tell him was:
I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son? (Genesis 27:37 NLT)
Esau wept and asked his father for something… anything. And this is what Isaac spoke over him:
You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck. (Genesis 27:39b–40 NLT)
I can hear Esau's attorney demanding justice: “My client has his rights.” And those of us in the courtroom would be cheering him on.
But, as we continue tomorrow, we will find out God has a different perspective.
Have a good day,