When heaven is considered empty (‘we fear not the Lord’, 3), words and promises soon follow suit, and justice, so-called, becomes a parody of its true self – no longer towering impartially above the strong and the weak, but earthbound and tortuous, springing from the thoughts and policies of the moment; no longer a force for good and for the nation’s health, but a source of poison. The picture of it as a weed which takes over a farmer’s field (4) provides a startling contrast to the majestic metaphors of height and depth and clarity associated with true, divine justice (‘on high, out of . . . sight’, Ps. 10:5; ‘like the great deep’, Ps. 36:6; ‘as the light’, Ho. 6:5). The accusation is borne out by history. At best, humanism takes its estimate of morality and justice from ground level – from whatever happens to be a society’s current mood and practice; while at worst, tyrants and demagogues equate it simply with their policies and interests. So the false morality strengthens its hold on the community, choking the true values as a wild crop smothers the good growth under its spreading carpet.Derek Kidner, The Message of Hosea: Love to the Loveless. The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester: IVP, 1976), pp. 93–94
Monday, 8 May 2017
When Fake Justice Poisons True Justice
This quotation is taken from a commentary on Hosea 10:3-6.