Justice and Love

JESUS said that Satan is the “prince of this world.” (John 14:30) In a world over which Satan rules there can never be an equal opportunity for all. That is why such a world must come to an end. Injustice and unrighteousness are even now contributing to the downfall of Satan’s world, and those who have faith in the promises of God look forward to the near establishment of a new world, which will be the kingdom of Christ.

In that new world of tomorrow there will be a full and equal opportunity for all, not only along economic lines, but also to secure health and everlasting life. These kingdom opportunities will be offered impartially to the people of all nations and races, upon condition of obedience to the righteous requirements of kingdom laws and the acceptance of the provision of life through the redeeming blood of Christ.

The details of God’s law which governed ancient Israel were designed to foreshadow the righteous requirements of the kingdom of Christ. Circumstances during the Millennium will be vastly different, of course, but the principles of divine law will be the same. Those principles may be summed up briefly as justice and love.

We see both of these exemplified in the Word of God. The Israelites were under obligation to pay the agreed-upon wages to their hired servants. These wages were not to be held back, not even for a day. Seemingly it was the custom in that ancient time to give workmen their wages at the close of each day. This is seen in Jesus’ parable of the penny.

Probably hired servants of that time lived, as we would say today, from hand to mouth. What they earned today might be needed to purchase the evening meal; so the wages must not be held back, lest it cause unnecessary suffering. This was a provision of simple justice. The workman earns his wages; the employer is under obligation to pay him. Not to do so would be unjust.

On the other hand, love was also to be shown. When a farmer harvested his crop of wheat or other grain, should he forget or overlook a sheaf in the field, he was to leave it there to be picked up later by a stranger, or one who was fatherless, or a widow. In other words, consideration was to be given to those in need, whether or not they earned what they received. This was a provision which went beyond justice. It was love.

Paul’s service to the Lord reveals the principles of both love and justice. In one letter he cites his own practice of not being in any way a burden upon the brethren whom he served in spiritual things. He could justly expect that when he was spending his time and strength thus to assist the brethren, they would provide for his temporal needs. But he did not do this. Instead, in addition to his spiritual ministry, he worked with his own hands as a tentmaker to provide for his physical needs.

Thus we have, in the life of the Apostle Paul, an example of one whose love, like the Heavenly Father’s for the sinful world of mankind, went far beyond the unfeeling bounds of justice.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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