Ecclesiastes 4 starts off with Solomon’s distress over oppression and his recognition that humanity would never see the end of it. He saw that power and envy are the root of all oppression. This got me thinking about social justice. It’s become a buzzword in our culture with plenty of talk about it, but no real societal change. Isaiah explained why: “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God…justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us…Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter” ( Isaiah 59). Doesn’t it feel like that some days? No matter how much we strive for what is right and just, goodness is always just out of reach. It seems hopeless when we consider the world around us. It IS hopeless.
Isaiah, who has more insight than even Solomon, adds that the Lord sees injustice and is displeased by it. “He saw that there was no man…no one to intercede; THEN His own arm brought him salvation, and His righteousness upheld him” ( Isaiah 59:16, emphasis mine.) JESUS. It is only by Jesus that there can be justice in our lives and in society.
We who are believers need to continually pursue what is right and true and just, not for own own benefit, but so that the name Jesus is proclaimed. We cannot expect the world to provide any lasting justice because the nature of humans is to be self-serving. Our example of living as Jesus did points the way to true justice.