Man may think he has all the answers but he doesn’t. He is not the one who has control over our lives or who provides TRUE safety. God does.
Our world is into learning EVERYTHING it can! It ranges from observing all that is around us to trying to have an impact and direct it. The biggest “it” man is trying to control and understand is man himself. Mapping the human genome, cloning, cures for disease, physical training, psychological programming, self-improvement, raising the level of consciousness, and SO MUCH MORE!
In this little section of Proverbs, Solomon points out the two areas where the most focus is given; safety and justice. We create all kinds of systems that are supposed to protect people. We could start with child safety caps and go on from there. There are complete industries geared towards increasing safety in everything from those caps to cars and everything in between. Oh the life of a crash test dummy!
Along with seeking safety, we keep adding laws to enforce our ideals of safety. Seatbelt laws are just a tiny piece of this effort. Another focus of the laws being created are an attempt to ensure justice is done as far as possible. Our legal system doesn’t rely on one person’s opinion but a group; jury. There are MANY laws written in such a way as to afford an accused person as much protection as possible. And they are often abused, by both sides. Laws about what is admissible as evidence, innocent until proven guilty, Miranda rights and lengthy appeals (in the Unites States of America). Sometimes our push to ensure protection and protect against mistakes in justice can be hard on the victims. It can be YEARS before even an arrest is made in a case and even longer before sentence is carried out. “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” William Blackstone. I don’t know too many victims of violent crime who would agree with this if it was their offender who was one of the ten.
Try as he might, man cannot guarantee perfect safety or perfect justice. That ability belongs to God. No matter how many laws man makes, people will still die, either accidentally or by the hand of another. Guilty will still go free and innocent will still suffer under the hand of man. And, YES, as long as we live in this world bad things will happen to good people while good things happen to bad people.
Does this mean that not even God can ensure our safety or mete out justice? NO. What it means is that His safety looks a LOT different than what we think of as safety. And His justice has nothing to do with prison bars and safe streets at night. He is focused on ALL aspects of our existence, including when we enter eternity. Bad things DO happen to good people at times. Good things also happen to good people too. God uses ALL that transpires in our short period of life here on earth to ready us for our forever life. Our life here isn’t all there is, but neither is it unimportant to Him. Yet, THERE WILL BE HARDSHIP & JOY. It is up to us how we react to it. Will we run for cover at the first sign of danger or challenge to our faith or will we dig in for the fight? WHATEVER the outcome, He WILL be with His children.
As for justice, what we deserve is FAR from what we get. We deserve death for our sins, but He gives us grace. We have to accept that HE knows what is just and how to achieve it. I have no right to ‘put my thumb on the scale’ for or against someone because I’m just as guilty of sin as anyone else. I have to learn how to forgive and extend grace to others because it was first extended to me. I KNOW in the Final Judgment He will make everything JUST. He is the only one who can see into the heart of each man.
So, the bottom line is this; use the systems put in place by man but DON’T stake your eternal soul on them. They are flawed but they are what we have for now. Trust God in ALL your ways! He watches over us at ALL times; including knowing what is still to come for each of us. Obey the laws of the land but don’t expect them to save you. Do not place yourself willingly into dangerous situations and then expect a miraculous rescue. Even Jesus refused to do that with Satan egging Him on. But KNOW that NO MATTER WHAT YOU FACE, GOD IS BY YOUR SIDE. He will see you through anything!
Father God, I’m SO GLAD I don’t have to put my faith in seatbelts and child locks. I know how they can both fail. I put my trust in YOU! You NEVER fail. I know I may not always see what I think is justice in this world but I trust YOU to bring about YOUR justice; even as far as I’m concerned. I trust You with my whole self! There is NONE like You!