From Jim O'Brien
January 20, 2017

Hi Friend,

Justice Cries from the Grave

Justice is a bit like wealth-everyone wants it but only a few are willing to suffer to achieve it. Isaiah wrote that God "looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress." (Isaiah 5:7 NIV)

That thought came to mind this week when USA Today reported that the Obama administration released ten more prisoners from Gitmo to Oman. There were 242 prisoners in Gitmo when Obama took office-now there are 45. During his term as president he released almost 200 terrorists who are responsible for the murder of innocent people, oftentimes children.

Was justice served by these presidential pardons? What about justice for the parents of the children that were slaughtered by the barbarians? Justice isn't determined by presidents or pundits.

Once there was a righteous man, Abel, who was murdered by his brother Cain. God confronted Cain and revealed a fundamental concept of justice-"The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth...." (Gen. 4:10-11)

The sense is that justice is deeper than a simple decision by man, even if the man is a national leader. There is something in nature itself that demands justice.

There was a time that God removed gentiles from a verdant, fertile land and gave that land to the Israelites. That was over 3,000 years ago and it is still known as the Promised Land. Some men find fault with God for requiring that Israel remove, under penalty of death, every gentile from the land. But there was a reason-it wasn't an arbitrary decision.

The gentiles practiced child sacrifice. Even God can lose patience with the sins of man. If God had not responded to the slaughter of millions of innocent children sacrificed on an altar to a pagan god, where could justice be found?

Some people believe our Founding Fathers had no right to come to this land and create a new nation. They believe this in spite of the witness of history that ALL nations got their start in much the same way. They seem to believe that our nation is uniquely deserving of punishment.

They also overlook historical and archeological evidence of the mounds scattered around the country that bear mute testimony of the sins of those that occupied the land before the Pilgrims ever arrived. Those mounds are filled with the remains of people that were once sacrificed to pagan gods. Some historians estimate that the victims number in the millions. And the blood of those long dead offerings cried out from the grave for years until God gave the land to a new people that would honor His law.

But God is no respecter of persons. He told the Israelites who were given the Promised Land, "'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants." (Lev. 18:24-25) There's that expression again-"the land vomited out its inhabitants." Justice is an intrinsic part of the universe. It doesn't change with a pardon dispensed by man.

Our Bible Study group is completing a study of the Book of Revelation that vividly describes God's anger with man. It is sometimes hard to understand that God would bring such devastation on the earth even though He tells us why. For 6,000 years He has watched dedicated servants, upright and good people, murdered by rapacious and evil men. Justice is required-and it's inevitable.

Think of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11-what of their spouses, children and parents? Do they deserve justice? Can one man abrogate the justice of the universe for political purposes? The blood of those people cries out from the ground and even when politicians have closed their ears the earth still hears.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien