Why Is There So Much Injustice in the World?
God is a righteous God who judges and Samuel Ho explains that we would be absolutely terrified if He is not so.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
– Psalm 96:13 (NIV)
“Why is there so much injustice in the world?”
It’s a painful question to think about, isn’t it? We read and hear on a daily basis about all sorts of injustice happening around the world. Racial injustice, child abuse, sex trafficking, political injustice etc. And if we think a bit further back, there’s slavery, mass genocides… I could go on and on. Perhaps injustice for you is much closer than that. Perhaps you have personally experienced great injustice. Maybe you are currently a victim of great injustice.
And so, we ask: “Why is there so much injustice in the world? Why are people allowed to do bad things for their own gain and get away with it?”
Doesn’t it frustrate you and make you angry? Are you haunted by the thought that nothing is ever going to be made right? That no matter how people vote, petition or protest, the powerful will keep getting away with it? That the violent will keep oppressing the weak? That even though some get caught, so many others out there will continue to prosper because they know how to escape the system? I mean, sometimes even when criminals are caught, we feel that the legal system is not even enough to punish them? See, even in our attempts at justice, it sometimes feels like we can’t enact enough justice to right the injustice. And so, injustice seems to prevail.
And we might be left feeling quite powerless. Because all we can do while reading and hearing about all this injustice is sit in our chairs and feel absolutely outraged, but at the same time, quite helpless. Yea, we might contribute money and time to support causes and start petitions and pursue justice, but at the end of the day, doesn’t it feel like we are clutching at straws? It seems almost impossible to eradicate one present, persistent injustice, let alone ten new growing issues that are popping up.
And so, we sometimes ask God: “God, is there no cosmic justice? Will You not do anything about injustice?”
We want a righteous God who judges. What we really want of a God is a God of judgement, a God who will punish all these wrongdoings, a God who will right all the wrongs in this world. I say this because I always feel like I am left quite conflicted when people say that they just can’t believe in this angry God of judgement in the Bible. They can’t believe in a God of wrath who will pour out His anger on people; because “if God is love, shouldn’t he forgive everyone”?
I find it hard to believe that people really mean it when they say that. Not when I think of our outrage, our long, emotionally charged posts on social media about injustice, our righteous anger at the injustice in the world. Because I think, deep down, we DO want a cosmic ruler of the universe who is angered by injustice, who will bring judgement on those who are guilty of injustice, who will bring justice to the victims of injustice.
And I would venture even further to suggest that we would be absolutely terrified to discover the opposite about God. What an immense tragedy it would be to find out that God is completely indifferent to the crimes of the world, that He just doesn’t care. I would be so horrified if I discovered that God was an unrighteous God who never condemned, never punished, never dealt with the crimes of the world, but just sat in His chair, looking at what’s happening and saying, “What a shame… I sure would not want to be in their shoes.” Wouldn’t you be too?
We want a God who will judge. Our hearts need a God who will judge. I think it shows in our recognition of the tremendous importance of justice. It shows in our righteous anger at injustice and our desire for injustice to be punished.
And our God is exactly that. He is a loving God who will judge.
Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
Our God is a perfectly just God. He loves justice. He does justice. He is justice.
Psalm 10:17-18 says, “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.”
Our God is a loving God who is angered by injustice and unrighteousness. He is on the side of the voiceless and defenceless. He is for the abused and oppressed. If we feel outrage against the injustice we see, He feels more! If we feel pain for the victims of injustice, He feels more! After all, this is His creation!
Our God is a God of justice, and a God of love, not a God of indifference.
And that means that He is a God who must judge and will judge.
And the Bible tells us that that will happen on an appointed day, a day that no one knows when except God himself.
See how the psalmist feels about that day:
“Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.” (Ps 96:13)
Like you and I, the psalmist wants so much to see the day that things are made right, that injustice is judged, and so he says let all creation rejoice! There WILL be a day when all injustice will be judged and made perfectly right. On that day of judgement, all things, good or bad, hidden or not, will be brought before God, the perfect judge, and everyone will receive what they are due for the things done in their lives.
And here, we are so grateful for the gospel. For without the gospel, we cannot rejoice with the psalmist on that judgement day because we know that we have been as complicit as anyone else in the injustice of this world.
As we feel strongly against racial oppression overseas, we recognise that we haven’t held that same fierce support for the people different to us in our own country.
As we feel strongly about how governments need to be spending more money to care for the needy, we recognise that how we use our own money has not reflected that same heart for the needy.
As we feel strongly against the exploitation of sex workers, we recognise that we ourselves have used explicit material and fuelled that exploitation.
As we criticise nations for resorting to violence and going to war, we recognise that we haven’t reflected that same love for peace in our interactions with people around us.
If we are very honest with ourselves, we find that all the time, in one way or another we advantage ourselves at the expense of others. Therefore, we too, find ourselves guilty of injustice and deserving of the same outcome as anyone else – an eternity facing the wrath of God.
But God in His grace and mercy made a way, in sending His son, Jesus Christ, who took our sin upon Himself and bore the consequences in our place so that we no longer fear condemnation on that day. Instead, we look forward to His coming, when He will execute perfect judgment, when He will make all things right, when He will bring us to the new creation, where no trace of injustice will ever be found again.
And so, friend, we can rejoice.
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