Yesterday I testified during the sentencing hearing in a court-martial convened at Ft. Carson. Since I had counseled with the soldier involved, the defense counsel thought that my testimony would be relevant in assisting the judge as he determined the appropriate sentence. The whole situation was very sad, and in the faces, tears, words, and procedures of the day, you could almost hear creation groaning under the weight of its subjection to futility.
As I sat in the courtroom observing the procedures, I was grateful for
some features of the justice system in our nation (in this case, in the
military, following the Uniform Code of Military Justice) which reflect
God's revealed truth. I was grateful for the respect for life built into
the law codes, for the presumption of innocence until proven guilty,
and for procedural safeguards designed to produce clear, careful, and
impartial handling of the evidence. I also observed how even the best
system men can devise will only be as good as the men operating it. I was fairly disgusted at the emotional manipulation attempted at times.[And one more thing - the trial revealed how fully the biblical view of mankind has been replaced by the 'medical,' 'scientific,' and humanistic view of mankind in the law, especially when it comes to deciding what to do for 'correction.']
Human courts can never deal fully with the problem of sin, whether in the hearts of man or in society. At their best, they are imperfect executors of God's justice. Even at their best, they leave us longing for the Servant who will establish justice in the earth. Watching the proceedings made me even more amazed at the God who can be both just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. What a joy it is to have hope and confidence in him!