Thursday, September 1, 2016

Committed to Righteousness

Psalm 101:1-8

A Psalm of David.

 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.” (Psalm 101:1)

One of the biggest reasons people immigrated to America was because of our justice system, which ensured that people would not be unfairly imprisoned or executed.  Our constitution ensured a person could not be arrested or held without supporting evidence, and both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney were there to make sure that the guilty party was identified and punished while innocent people were cleared. 

Somewhere along the way the philosophy changed, and the prosecutor’s goal became to get a conviction while the defense attorney’s goal was to get his client off.   Today our legal system is a contest between the lawyers to see who can make their goal, rather than trying to see that justice is done.   Winning a case is more about having a more skilled lawyer than about being innocent or right, and lawyers are often paid based on the success rates.    As a result, guilty parties are declared innocent, innocent people are punished, and victims are further victimized, while the attorneys, and the court system are rewarded financially.   Justice is more an accident than an intentional result.  

Realizing the frequent injustices of our system, lawmakers toy with the penalties for certain crimes, making some mandatory and take away any consideration of extenuating factor.  Other times, a person is automatically given another chance with no consideration of past history or intent, leaving the impression that the crime really isn’t that serious and the punishment undeserved, destroying the meaning of mercy.   

God provides real justice, Based completely on the truth, rather than what the Judge and lawyers decide to allow the jury to hear.   He refuses to allow a guilty party to go free or an innocent person to be punished unjustly, and ensures that victims will be properly compensated.  As a result, people appreciate his justice just as they once did the American system. 

“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” (Psalm 101:2)

The break down in our justice system is major factor in the increasing levels of crime in the United States.  When criminals go free and the innocent are forced to pay for the harm the do through taxes or legal fees. There is little incentive to do what is right, but because God demands justice, there is real incentive to do what is right.  Like the people desiring to immigrate to America, people will want to be close to God.  They can commit to doing what is right, knowing they will not be penalized for being politically incorrect.  The Psalmist is describing his own intentions. 

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.  A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.  Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.” (Psalm 101:3-5)  

Those who appreciate God’s goodness  have every reason for setting aside the things that tempt them.  They hate the actions of those who refuse to follow what is right and avoid any implication of involvement or association. They maintain such a standard that rebellious and immoral people avoid them, and refuse to associate with those who do evil things.    They separate from people who tell lies  or rundown other people, and refuse to associate with those who think they are better or smarter or have more rights than other people. 

“Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.  He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.  I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.” (Psalm 101:6-8)

As one who appreciates God’s righteousness and mercy. The Psalmist has determined to focus on those who do right, to encourage and help them.  He refuses to employ those who take advantage or are deceitful in business, and will immediately fire those he finds lying to people.   He will do everything possible to get rid anyone who cannot be trusted.   If we are Christian, we should make a similar commitment to avoid any association with wickedness, even though it may be considered politically incorrect.  

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