“When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” (Proverbs 21:15, ESV)
This morning, while reading through Proverbs 21, I almost immediately thought of the situations going on in Ferguson, Missouri as I type. Everyone reading this should probably have at least some idea of what is going on there, but, here is a quick recap:
On August 9, 2014, there was some sort of struggle between a white police officer in Ferguson, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, and an 18 year old African-American boy, Michael Brown. In the struggle, which has been described by the media(I have no first hand knowledge of this) as lasting less than 90 seconds, and allegedly included the boy and the officer struggling in the officer’s patrol car, and then ended with Michael Brown being shot to death by the officer. That, in a nutshell, is pretty much everything that I know about the actual event.
Now, shortly after the death of this young boy, people immediately began to call the officer a killer, saying he shot an unarmed boy with no rhyme or reason. And there were “protests,” both peaceful and not so peaceful. Many people just didn’t understand what why they didn’t just, basically, lynch the officer. They wanted mob justice to be done. Guilty until proven innocent, when this country is build on innocent until proven guilty.
Now, however, we await the grand jury decision on whether or not to charge this officer with a crime. In the weeks preceding this, reports have trickled out that Michael Brown may have not been so innocent some are claiming. Physical evidence is pointing more towards the officer’s side of the story. Many conflicting eyewitness accounts are hurting Michael’s case. And, what is worse of all, in my opinion, this has become less of an issue of justice and more of an issue of race.
Every day, I read online or see on the news or listen on the radio about planned protests, and how people are coming in from all over the country(and probably the world) to protest once the grand jury decision is announced. Seeing pictures of people practicing to protest to basically shut down the city of Ferguson. And, on the other side of things, the law enforcement agencies in the area, and all around the country, are stocking up and preparing for these protests, and, no matter what decision is brought by the grand jury, I doubt it will be a pretty aftermath.
In the end, however, there are two things about the world we live in right now that really are affecting what is going on in Ferguson: 1. The re-defining of the word “tolerance” form agreeing to disagree to if you don’t agree with me, you’re a hate-mongering big. 2. The fact that people refuse to see the evil in their world. They see evil in the world around them, but they refuse to believe that someone close to them could do something so wrong, it could warrant them being shot.
Paul wrote, quoting heavily from the Old testament,
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”” (Romans 3:10–18, ESV)
No one is righteous, no one can do good, no one seeks after God. We are sinners and our hearts are wicked and evil (Jeremiah 17:9, Genesis 6:5). From my experiences in law enforcement, foster care, child welfare, and life in general, I have determined that anyone is capable of anything. So, on the flip side of things, the officer involved very well could have killed Michael Brown for no rhyme or reason. But, at the same time, Michael Brown could have attacked the officer, trying to kill him, causing the officer to have to shoot him.
What happened? I don’t know. That’s among Michael Brown, the officer, and God. What will the grand jury decide? I don’t know that either, however, when justice is served, it really will be a terror to one side or the other. And I pray that those involved make wise decisions, not ones that lead to more senseless violence and more people getting hurt. I pray for the many “pastors” involved with the protests to do the same, that they don’t lead people astray and into sin.
Now we just need to be patient and wait for the grand jury to make/announce its decision.
Soli Deo Gloria