Will God Ever Do Anything About Injustice?
“IT’S just not fair.” The young student was visibly upset, filled with indignation after personally experiencing an obvious travesty of justice. “If there really is a God,” she continued, “how can he permit such injustice?” Could you have empathized with this young lady? Probably so. But could you also have answered her objection?
When a child, you may at times have felt that your parents allowed you to be treated unjustly. But that apparent injustice hardly proved that they did not exist, did it? Likewise, God’s permission of injustice in no way proves his nonexistence.
The young student replied, however, that this was quite a different matter. She pointed out that an imperfect human father might even be a bit unjust himself. Or because of not knowing all the facts, he might not recognize injustice when he saw it. Furthermore, because of human limitations, he might be powerless to do anything about the injustices he did see. None of this, she argued, would apply to a just God who is omniscient and omnipotent.
You too may feel that the permission of injustice is simply not compatible with divine qualities. Yet, could it be that in his ultimate wisdom, God has a credible reason for permitting injustice for a length of time?
Bible writers considered God to be “a lover of righteousness and justice.” “All his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice,” wrote Moses.—Psalm 33:5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 37:23.
Besides viewing Jehovah as a just God who takes no delight in injustice, Bible writers agreed that he would one day do away with it. Isaiah, for example, foretold this condition: “Look! A king will reign for righteousness itself; and as respects princes, they will rule as princes for justice itself. And in the wilderness justice will certainly reside, and in the orchard righteousness itself will dwell.” (Isaiah 32:1, 16) But when? And if God desires to rid the world of injustice, why did he permit it in the first place?
There was a time when no injustice existed in the universe. It has been only since the rebellion of Adam and Eve under pressure of Satan the Devil that injustice has become known to mankind. Satan was not immediately destroyed at the time of the rebellion. For his own good purpose, God permitted a period of time when man would commit injustices, and this would be for the purpose of testing those devoted to Him, as to whether they would prove faithful to Him. Their choosing to be integrity keepers would be a denial of Satan’s ability to turn all human creation against God. With God’s sovereignty thus vindicated, Satan’s works would be destroyed, and all injustices removed.
In the meantime, were God forcibly to prevent people from dealing unjustly, he would be robbing them of freedom of choice. Besides, by allowing people to feel the unjust consequences of others’ wrong actions, God illustrates how detrimental it was that Adam and Eve unjustly rebelled against divine regulations, replacing these with their own faulty standards. By allowing mankind to reap what it has sown, God helps honest people to realize the superiority of doing things his way.—Jeremiah 10:23; Galatians 6:7.
In addition, the acts of justice or injustice that individuals perform provide revealing evidence. These acts provide God with an accurate basis upon which to judge who is worthy of living on earth in a new world when full justice has been restored. Suggesting that, we read: “Now as regards someone wicked, in case he should turn back from all his sins that he has committed and he should actually keep all my statutes and execute justice and righteousness, he will positively keep living.”—Ezekiel 18:21.
When Will Injustice End?
Jehovah God’s dealings with mankind have always been just and marked by loving-kindness. Illustrating that, when God’s faithful servant Abraham could not understand why something was happening, he said of God: “It is unthinkable of you that you [would] put to death the righteous man with the wicked one so that it has to occur with the righteous man as it does with the wicked! It is unthinkable of you. Is the Judge of all the earth not going to do what is right?” (Genesis 18:25) With the coming of Christ, God’s qualities of justice and loving-kindness were magnified. The ransom sacrifice arrangement by means of Christ Jesus opened up the way for everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike, to gain everlasting life. This led the apostle Peter to say: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are active in proclaiming that God’s Messianic King has begun his rule and that the time is near when justice will be restored to our earth in perfect measure.a This will be accomplished when that King destroys the present unjust world and breaks the power of its invisible god, Satan the Devil. The Bible shows that this will occur soon at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” which is generally called Armageddon.—Revelation 16:14, 16.
“God is not unjust when he vents his wrath,” so Armageddon will be a just war. (Romans 3:5) Afterward, Christ Jesus and his corulers, such as the apostles, will reign from heaven for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4) Millions of people who have suffered injustices in the past will be resurrected into a righteous system on earth, mankind’s original home, to experience perfect justice for the first time in their lives.
“Does It Follow That God Is Unjust?”
The apostle Paul asked that regarding one of God’s dealings. The answer? “Of course not,” wrote Paul. Likening humans to clay that has been shaped by a potter into vessels deserving either wrath or mercy, Paul explained: “Although God is ready to show his anger and display his power, yet he patiently puts up with the people who make him angry, however much they deserve to be destroyed. He puts up with them for the sake of those other people, to whom he wants to be merciful, to whom he wants to reveal the richness of his glory.”—Romans 9:14, 20-24, The Jerusalem Bible.
As with the young student mentioned earlier, you may at times find it difficult to understand why God permits injustice in general or some specific wrong. But who are we—the moldings of his hand—to question his patience and wisdom in doing so? Jehovah God said to Job: “Really, will you invalidate my justice? Will you pronounce me wicked in order that you may be in the right?”—Job 40:8.
Never will we want to be guilty of doing that. Rather, we will want to rejoice in knowing that although injustice is still with us, the God of justice will soon remove it from the entire earth.
a For evidence that God’s Kingdom began its invisible rule over the earth in 1914, see pages 134-41 of the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. This book also contains a chapter on the subject “Why Has God Permitted Wickedness?”
[Picture on page 23]
The permission of injustice can in no way be used to prove God’s nonexistence
Is God at fault for a drunken driver’s refusal to use the qualities of common sense, self-control, and consideration?
The time is near when full justice will be restored to our earth