Entitlement is the Offspring of A Justice Generation

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalm 89:14

The very foundation of the throne of God rests upon the two pillars of Righteousness and Justice.  Were either one of these pillars to disappear, the entire throne would topple, and God’s Kingdom would no longer stand.  Were justice to disappear, God’s rule would no longer be perfect, and God would no longer be God.

There is a movement in the world today that likely has stretched back to the beginning of mankind.  It is the cry for “Justice”.  Yet, we, as fallible human beings can often get what real justice is so wrong.  While there is a sense of a knowledge of right and wrong within us, we cannot, as it were, all agree upon what that right and wrong work out to be in every situation.

No where is this confusion any more clear than when it applies to ourselves.  It is almost as if there is an inherent blind spot in every human being that they cannot always rightly discern true justice when they have a self-interest involved.  King David experienced this when he committed adultery, and it took Nathan the prophet to reveal his sin.  Jesus even touched on this when He said His judgment was just because He didn’t seek His own.  Even today, judges are required to recuse themselves if they have a ‘conflict of interest’ with any of the parties involved.  People simply get it wrong quite often when justice concerns them.

But, if we were to take this back a step further, we see another perspective.

There were two trees in the garden.  The one tree was the tree of life, the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  While from birth, seemingly, while we may not all agree exactly on what specific things are right and wrong, and what justice looks like, there is in us, even from birth, a seeming knowledge that right and wrong, good and evil, exist.

So, what happens when we get angry?  Paul wrote, Be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26).  But, Jesus said, Whoever is angry at his brother without cause is in danger of judgment (Matthew 5:22).  We are called to be judges in the Earth (John 5:27), but when we judge with unrighteous judgment, we can incur judgment upon ourselves.

And so, we come to what many wan to call a “Justice Generation”.  Prayer meetings are centered around justice.  Movements are centered around justice.  And, it is right to cry out for justice for the oppressed.  But, there is a difference when we come to the place of intercession on behalf of the voiceless, and those who are crying out for justice for themselves.

The one thing we can be assured of is that man is limited.  His knowledge is limited, his understanding is limited, and his wisdom is limited.  Perhaps this is why Jesus, when he spoke, said that He judged only as he heard (John 5:30).  He couldn’t rely on his own limited ability, but, rather, as a man under authority with people over Him, He claimed to only repeat the judgment that was given to Him.

Imagine Adam and Eve, for a moment, if they had followed the same rule.  They would need no knowledge of good and evil themselves, not even that they were naked, which would be shameful.  But, rather, created as judges over the Earth, even as Jesus was, human spirit inhabiting flesh, they would be able to be judges over the Earth, and not incur judgment upon themselves, for, if you do not judge, you will not be judged (Luke 6:37).  With judging only with the infinite justice of Him who is Above all, as His representatives, they would have would have taken dominion over the Earth and subdued it.  But, listening to another wisdom, a self-based wisdom, they entered into a knowledge which was not bad in and of itself, but that God forbid, because they themselves were finite creatures, incapable of God’s level of justice.

And I heard the altar respond:  Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments

Revelation 16:7

One thing we can be certain of is that God’s perfect justice will take place.  Although it has been said, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied”, it is a lie.  Ask the poor man Lazarus, who for one moments rest, the rich man begged for even a drop of the water he so freely enjoyed after death.  No, God is not slack in concerning His promises, nor is He ever failing in keeping His Word to a thousand Generations.

If there is one thing that is certain, Justice, and Righteousness, will be maintained the foundation of God’s throne, forever (see Psalm 145:13).

But, when we enter into someone else’s judgment, there is a pitfall of becoming party to an unrighteous judgment, and coming under its judgment.

Entitlement is the offspring of Justice gone wrong.  The intercessor is the one that stands in the gap, they do not take sides (Joshua 5:14).  They do not need to.  They need only take the side of truth, justice, and His Kingdom.  In this way, Jesus prayed, Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Yet, Jesus also said to pray, Forgive us our sins as we forgive one another.

Entitlement is when we judge on our own behalf that we were slighted, hurt, or wronged, or that something is owed to us.  But, when we judge with our own benefit in mind, we usually get it quite wrong.  And, it is precisely in this regard, where we have been hurt, that Jesus counselled another way.  In the place of ourselves, not others, we should turn the other cheek.  We should forgive those who we perceive wronged us, and we should live with the consequences of another person’s actions, trusting God to vindicate us.

But, when the “Entitlement Generation” bears fruit, we see people taking sides, demanding “justice” over “privilege”, without checking that the original judgment was righteous.  When we stand with a righteous cause, we are vindicated, but if at the end of things, we take sides where we should not, we enter folly.

What was true for me is true for all.  If I need to forgive those who have done ill against me, I need to forgive that wrong, and God will make it right through His Grace.  If, however, I seek my own, I will only receive this.  And, if this is true for myself, it is a sin against this truth to present any other way than this for any others.

It is different when a person cannot speak for themselves, or if it is situation going on is immediately happening.  In the days of slaves, it was right to stop it.  In the days of abortion, it is right to stop it.  But, as any counselor worth his wits can tell you, the anger you feel in the moment of your house burning down is not the same anger you have over it burning down 20 years ago.  The one in the moment is true anger, while the anger looking back is not about the moment, but what you believe about that moment.  It is precisely at this juncture that justice breaks down, and our anger is no longer a matter of justice, but of revenge.  It is precisely at this moment when anger turns from being justified, to being an internalized anger, as Paul wrote, do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

The Entitlement Generation is the offspring of the Justice Generation, where the Justice Generation is not taught the totality of God’s Scripture concerning His Kingdom.  When we take sides with the wicked, we are consumed with them, just as the Benjaminites were killed by the rest of Israel when they harbored the criminals (see the story of the concubine in Judges 19-21, and how all but 400 of the tribe of Benjamin were slain for wrongly supporting the perverts).

The Entitlement Generation is what happens when praying for God’s justice for the helpless is transferred onto those who need to forgive.  The best remedy for those who have been violated in the past, of course, is not justice, is not demanding recompense.

This is where forgiveness belongs.  And, those who hide this from those who need it, whether intentionally or not, are hiding the Gospel’s salvation from others by doing it.  Is there a need?  Let us meet it.  Is there is a brokenness?  Of course, because this world is not our home.  But, is there hurt feelings?  Let each man bring his life, and trust our heavenly Father for His recompense, not man’s.

The rise in entitlement is an offspring of justice, and hides its ugly face in Justice’s cloak.  But, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether in this life or Beyond, that justice, and righteousness, are assured as surely as God’s throne is.

It is for this cause, I, out of my own brokenness, do not pray for justice for those likewise suffering.  If I do, I am still praying out of my own hurt, my own woundedness, and am likely to confuse my own desperate cry for justice with prayer, which it is not.  These must be dealt with, forgiven, before true intercession can take place.  God hears all prayers, but those praying out of their own hurt and pain too often confuse their angst with righteous claims.

Further, when intercessors are not trained to discern the righteous from the unrighteous cases, they are left to their own wherewithall to determine what is “Justice”.  And, history proves that, quite often, the cases that we rail for or against, are either unimportant, or, in worst cases, quite unrighteous when all is said and done.

God’s righteousness is certain.  The question is, are we on God’s side of things, or our own?  Are we partnering our prayers with a righteous cause, or are we empowering a demonic anger, one that is better served through the humility and meekness of dying.

To be sure, it is no coincidence that the Entitlement bug has risen up on the heels of the Justice bandwagon.  Some do Justice well, and some to not, but wherever there is wheat to be grown, you can be sure the tares are not far away.

Let us be discerning, having our senses trained by continual use to discern both good and evil.