God governs the world in such a way as to prevent us from thinking that we can be in the right simply by holding correct opinions. God governs our lives in such a way that we have to choose between two items on this Chinese menu here, and we are not permitted to slip away from the responsibility of that choice by daydreaming about how great it would be to be in an eschatological Mexican restaurant, as gloriously foretold by the prophet Isaiah. Obedience or disobedience happen in the present, and the present is governed by God. Our ideologies and daydreams meanwhile are far more adjustable because they are governed by our sinful hearts. What does this mean?
Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.(Je 22:3).
These words were spoken to the king of Judah. He is told to do two things here. The first is that he himself is required to refrain from violence against the defenseless. The second thing he is told to do is execute judgment, execute righteousness, and to deliver the victims from the hand of the oppressor. Now this is spoken to a king. What does a king do in order to rescue those who have no means of defense? He
must be their means of defense.
When God delivers His fierce rebuke against the magistrates of earth, the rebuke is not because they were being violent. The rebuke is because their violence was misdirected; God required that their strength be used in a different way.
“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked”(Ps 82:3-4).
There is nothing there about filing petitions, declaring it to be the year of the child, complaining to everybody, or writing a stern letter to the denominational magazine. Defend, do justice, deliver. And as nice as it would be to be able to drive away the wicked by pelting them with marshmallows and cotton balls, the magistrate is prohibited by God from acting
that way. Until the wicked are gone from the earth, and the meek are on the verge of inheriting it, in every moment of crisis God requires bullets, chambered and ready to go.