picture chosen by William Hemsworth. source: versaday.
“That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” - Ecclesiastes 1:15a (KJV)
Injustice, think about the word for a moment… “in” is Latin for “not” so in-justice equals “not-justice”. What I like about the Book of Ecclesiastes – and the whole Bible in that regard – is that it does not give us some sort of apology to whitewash reality. It does not ask us to live in denial but rather to accept the fact that this world is filled with injustice. The following verses forms an excellent, general example:
“There is something else that happens on earth that does not seem fair. Bad things should happen to bad people, and good things should happen to good people. But sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. This is not fair.” - Ecclesiastes 8:14 (ERV)
A more specific example:
“If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.” - Ecclesiastes 5:8 (NKJV)
The fact that our current existence “under the sun” (on this earth) contain a whole lot of injustice is no news to any sensible person. None of us live forever and we will lose absolutely everything we have gathered in this life. So sometimes it all seems to be calling for us to fall into a deep depression, losing all hope, since all is meaningless anyway…
“People can work hard using all their wisdom and knowledge and skill. But they will die and other people will get the things they worked for. They did not do the work, but they will get everything. That makes me very sad. It is also not fair and is senseless.” - Ecclesiastes 2:21 (ERV)
Oh! How miserable do we, human beings get when we consider the brevity of our lives filled with injustice. We turn on the television and what do we see on the news report? Injustice, death, injustice, death,… This seems to be a never-ending cycle. People seem to invent vain philosophies to try to make sense of life but in the end, those vain philosophies have not solved anything of the harsh reality in which we live. The book of Ecclesiastes just comments on our lives as being vain and meaningless because of their temporality and it does not justify nor explain away the injustice.
But this is not where the teacher of the book of Ecclesiastes ends his teaching. While the writer has understood the frailty and injustice of this life, he has come to know the Creator personally, as a righteous God. Therefore, he can write with all his heart about the hope that he has in God and God’s righteous judgment at the resurrection:
“Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” - Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14 (NLT)
If you are not a Christian yet, I would encourage you to go and look for the God who gives hope to those who have put their trust in Him. Reach out to Him and ask how you can get to know Him as your personal Friend.
If you are a Christian, you can thank God for the fact that He is always love, that He is always good and that He is always righteous. You can pray that He will let you know more of His perfect goodness, love and righteousness every day.
We who have become friends with God, know Him as the ultimate source of love and goodness. Therefore, we know that the life He gives will proof to be stronger than death and His justice will deal with any form of injustice. He will make an eternal earth, on which His perfect righteousness will reign.
This post was written in late 2016 (The 6th of October) as a short devotional guest post for scriptheos but has not yet been posted on that website. On January 8th, 2017 it made its first appearance on theologystillmatters. And it was published on crosstheology on the 3th of February, 2017.