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Plato/Socrates asked: “What is justice?” For some, it appears to be an easy question to answer, but for others not so easy. Plato took the answers given him and dismantled the answers given in such a way that others wondered if they knew. In Acts 28, the question Plato/Socrates asked was not far removed from a primitive people living on the island of Malta.

Paul arrives on the island as the result of a shipwreck; by this time the people of Malta knew that many on board the ship the wrecked ship were prisoners (however many there might have been). As Paul was tending to a fire, a viper came and struck him in such a way the locals knew he was guilty of violence and concluded that “justice does not allow [him] to live” (28:4).

Justice is personified; it has a mind of its own, but how can a word that is a noun have a mind? The word conveys an idea, a concept that is greater than the individual. Justice is more than just an idea, it is a way of thinking and adjudication that is far greater than anything of man.

Justice resides with Him that is the Creator of man. Justice can only be understood in a limited way if it originates with man. With Him who is the creator of morality, the essence of perfection, justice is far more than what man can render in understanding.

With man, he renders a thoughtful guess, even perhaps by experience he is able to do this or that in a reasonable way. Still, on occasion, he gets it wrong. Not with God. Nothing He does is wrong, and for the arrogant person who thinks God is wrong, on what basis do they judge?