From 2013 to 2016, I took a crash course on the topic of justice. During that time, I watched as God rescued over 60 women and their children from human trafficking and brought them into our shelter for healing and restoration. Many of the survivors faced abuse that most of us will never comprehend. Encountering such cruel injustice regularly led me to much personal prayer, and it also helped me better understand the meaning of true justice.
Proverbs 28:5 (ESV) says, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.” Think about this verse. Can you imagine how arrogant this statement might seem to those who do not know Christ? Can you imagine all the ways political pundits could twist this scripture to fit their agenda? However, this verse is less about the competence of the seeker and more about the greatness of God. Isaiah 30:18 (ESV) says, “The Lord is a God of justice.” To know God, is to know justice. You cannot rightly understand justice until you have known the author of it.
One night, while ministering to prostitutes in Bloemfontein, South Africa, my team met a 17-year-old girl named Mpho. She had been sold to her current pimp for $50 when she was just 12-years-old. For five years, she was forced to prostitute herself and sell drugs to men on the streets. She was expected to entertain 15 to 20 men per night. Her situation was phenomenally unjust and grossly horrific. Our team helped Mpho escape from her pimp and began assisting her in the process of restoring her life. We walked her through Christian counseling and programs designed to help survivors understand how God views them. She was genuinely transformed by the gospel. However, it was an impossible task to bring even a semblance of justice.
When she was initially rescued, justice for Mpho would have been to see her pimp killed by a firing squad. Truth be told, at the time, I would not have objected. Justice, for her, was to see her abuser killed. However, with the specifics of her case, all that the toughest courts in Lesotho could do was give the perpetrator a maximum of 15 years in prison. The only problem was that the perpetrator had gone missing in South Africa. In the end, there was no earthly justice for Mpho.
When there is no justice, the gospel is still good news. The good news is that through Christ, we are justified. The good news is that God is the God of justice. The good news is that there will be justice for Mpho. Isaiah 42:3-4 (NLT) says, “He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth.” As Christians, we pray for justice in this life with a deep knowledge that our God is on the throne.