While in DC, we often referenced MLK Jr's famous quote "Justice delayed is justice denied." While he's right - for the oppressed, the unborn, the ones our society pushes to the edges, every day of justice delayed is another day of suffering...but this morning I got to thinking about the oppressor. What does justice delayed mean to the one who oppresses? Turns out that it doesn't mean much, yet.
1 Corinthians 4:5 records Paul giving some directives to the church at Corinth. He writes "Therefore judge nothing before the approved times." We grab on to that and stuff it in our heart pocket as a reminder to not be judgemental...but like most things that fit on a bumper sticker, the thought is only half finished. He goes on to write:
"Wait until the Lord returns. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkenss and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will recieve his praise from God."
At that time, each will recieve his praise from God, or, by inferrence, his judgement. Differed judgement is not judgement evaded. Something that is being allowed to happen in the here and now does not equate with a license for the then and there, and be reminded that the then and there is where we are rapidly going.
That's not all that helpful to the oppressed - and I'm in favor of protecting the weak today - but it also doesn't hurt to wave a flag to the oppressor as a little signal. Judgement is coming. Humanity cries out for it, and the Bible speaks of it as a very concrete future reality. The silence of the Lord on a Tuesday morning can never be intrepreted as a blind eye or deaf ear. He's got a plan.
...when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with HIm, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will spearate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left....
...everybody won't be treated just the same / when the man comes around....