Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 16-18.
It would be easy to sit back and say, "They deserve it." However, in most cases it is even more painful to confess that the identification of "they" exists and is changed and justified by the audience. Maybe people base their definition of "they" on stereotypes or the underlying racism that seems to persist in our society? We've seen this played out far too often in our culture. We live in a divisive time as demonstrated in many ways from name calling to actual violence and shooting.
Consider the tensions in our culture between police and groups like Black Lives Matter. Each side shouts, "They deserve it." Why? Maybe they were not exactly innocent, but who is? Maybe some were guilty of crimes. Maybe some were resisting arrest. Maybe some are openly oppressing others. Maybe some are acting out violently based on racism. I'm not going to believe that everyone shot by a police officer is a mass murderer or a saintly choir boy. What I do know is that those that are killed, police officers or civilians, will never hear the life changing gospel of Jesus again.
These verses in Deuteronomy remind us that God is the answer. We don't just need judgment, but righteous judgement. A judgment that is not perverted. God desired that His people would have a judgment that is not partial and could not be purchased with bribes. God desires real, honest, and true justice.
How does this speak into the previous issue? The fact of the matter is that this is not a "they" problem, it's a "we" problem. This is not a Black Lives Matter or Police Lives Matter issue. This isn't a capitalism problem or an ANTIFA problem. Our country is experiencing in this moment the cold indifferent truth that WE, all of us, are broken. As I type this, families in several locations, from varied backgrounds, and of a multitude of races are weeping for lost loved ones. This grief and sorrow knows no racial, linguistic, or socioeconomic boundary. This is not "their" problem; it's ours.
"Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you."