Justice and peace


Over recent months, several ‘black’ Americans have died at the hands of white supremacists or at the hands of the police.   According to the medical examiner’s report, the latest death of George Floyd, a black American was also a result of several police officers subduing him to such an extent that he could no longer breathe.  As a direct result, this has led to protest marches which have now spiralled into disturbing scenes of riots, looting and other acts of lawlessness in several states across a rather “disunited” States of America.   

Ironically, America likes to hold itself up as the bastion of freedom, yet its President is offering the various state governors the armed forces to quell the lawlessness that is now so prevalent on many streets.  On the one hand we would agree that the lawlessness needs to cease, and that law and order need to be restored.  However, on the other hand, a President walking across a lawn standing with a Bible raised in his hand doesn’t do much for settling down the anger of people who know a great injustice has been done that needs to be addressed.   Mr Biden criticised Mr Trump’s decision to pose with a Bible, saying “if he opened it instead of brandishing it, he could have learned something.  When peaceful protesters are dispersed by the order of the President from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the President is more interested in power than in principle” Mr Biden said. 

Although we should all be extremely saddened by these events, it does not come as a complete surprise.  Throughout the history of mankind, injustice has repeatedly raised its head.  In Genesis 4, we read that Cain killed Abel because his offering was acceptable before God and Cain’s was not.  Indeed, throughout the Old Testament, God denounces with the strongest language the injustice He sees perpetrated throughout the land and warns against it many times (Exo 23:6; Isa 10:1-3 and many more.) Likewise, in the New Testament, Jesus calls on people to act with justice (Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thess 4:6).  Where does the answer lie?

I would humbly suggest that the leaders of the nations do what God’s word says we should do, namely, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  I dare say if our leaders, indeed all of us did that a little more and rid ourselves of our selfish pride, peace would be restored in our countries, states and in our families too. 

Finally, the phrase by George Floyd “I can’t breathe” will not be quickly forgotten, nor should it be.  But let us not forget that our Saviour also found it increasingly difficult to breathe as He hung on the cross until He breathed His last and died.  Our Saviour was the ultimate victim of injustice, yet it was His Father’s will that through His death, payment would be made for the sin of all who would repent and believe in His Name.   Let us pray that in the days ahead we will see peace and order return to countries where there is unrest and lawlessness.  And hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will see the glorious return of the Prince of Peace to bring us ever-lasting peace.  JZ