To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
Injustice occurs in two ways: not punishing the guilty and punishing the law abiding. It is one thing to be lax about prosecuting the guilty, but it is more grievous to take action against the person who is upright. Indeed, this proverb presents not merely a person who is innocent of a crime, but who consciously lives an upright life and promotes justice.
Understand that the writer is not merely shaking his head at injustice. His moral stance is based on God’s law, and God will enforce his law. In essence, he is pronouncing doom on the judge who imposes injustice. To do what “is not good” is to incur the wrath of God, and God will not be mocked. All the more, he will mete out his justice against those in authority abusing their offices. The ruler who is a tyrant; the judge who is unjust; the boss who takes advantage of his power over others – such persons should take warning that what they do “is not good,” and God will avenge his law, especially when injustice is carried against the upright.
Pray that the unjust will receive their due punishment in this life, not simply so that you can see it happen, but that in this life they still have time to repent. Final judgment will take place when there will be no chance of repentance. For God is just and he will see that final justice is delivered.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org