Caught House

Someone recently asked me after chapel what I was reading. I paused before answering. I should like to have said Volume 3 of Calvin’s Institutes or the later years of Wesley’s Journals, but alas, I was reading a novel. Of course, I have many books on the go, some of which may never be finished, but this novel, The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge, I found rather gripping. It had been on my shelf for some years and it finally caught my attention. Although co-authorship seems a little strange, the story is good.

A young, trainee lawyer’s brother is mysteriously murdered, and the trail leads to some depraved millionaires, who evidently have the local police in their pocket, hire ‘fixers’ to remove difficult witnesses and have access to the very best legal counsel. Not wishing to spoilt the story too much, the hero, his friends and grandfather, effectively kidnap the people responsible for the murder and put them on trial before TV cameras, getting the justice which the regular courts and inquests were want to deny them. A beach house becomes a court house, the kidnappers become prosecutors and witnesses.

We in Britain have a pretty sound legal system, but we are not immune from injustice and questionable practice. There are other nations around the world, however, where the wheels of justice will not turn save they be well oiled by bribes. When former US President Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921, he said: “I love judges and I love courts. They are my ideals on earth of what we shall meet afterward in Heaven under a just God.”

Though men sometimes deny us justice and equity, the God of heaven can only do what is fair and right. Heaven grants justice when earth turns a blind eye. Will not the Judge of the earth do right? Aye, He shall. So respectful of justice is our God, that He would sooner His Son bore our sins' penalty in His body on the tree, than simply admit us into His presence regardless, unwashed and unatoned. The cross of Calvary does not just showcase God’s love, but His absolute respect for fairness and legal propriety.

It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. Proverbs 21:15

The types and figures are fulfilled;
Exacted is the legal pain;
The precious promises are sealed;
The spotless Lamb of God is slain.

The reign of sin and death is o'er,
And all may live from sin set free;
Satan hath lost his mortal power;
'Tis swallowed up in victory.

Saved from the legal curse I am,
My Saviour hangs on yonder tree:
See there the meek, expiring Lamb!
'Tis finished! He expires for me.

From Charles Wesley's hymn, 'Tis Finished

Image by Steve Brown from Pixabay