We’ve been looking here at Millard Ericksons’ descriptions of God and His attributes. This week is God’s justice. Erickson points out that God acts righteous towards others in His individual capacity but as a corporate judge He not only acts morally but with justice. He not only demands that we do right by others but that we adhere to His laws. I think this is where the breakdown in society occurs – we talk about God’s characteristics of love and grace but often omit righteousness or justice because it requires something of us. Romans 6:23 points out that the wages of sin is death and throughout scripture we see passages that tell us there are consequences when we do our own thing or forsake God’s laws or precepts. This topic is less popular but probably the most necessary to discuss.
Through the years many have questioned God’s justice. The Psalmist David in Psalm 73 says he could not figure out why the wicked prospered – until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord. His perspective changed when he looked on God instead of his circumstances or others sin. We’ve seen much chaos in our nation over the last year as people ask where God is and why He has allowed some people to prosper in their folly. Our court system is jammed up with people seeking justice for perceived and actual wrongs committed against them.
Our city is no exception. There have been multiple unsolved crimes and murders in the Metro area. A disproportionate number of African American men have lost their lives. One of the stories that has troubled me has not yet leaked into the news but is common on the street. The drugs infiltrating our city are supposedly being “tested” on poor people in the inner city. If they live then the supply can be passed on to rich white collar customers. Those overdosing or being poisoned by the bad supply are seen as the users but the people in suits and dresses in the corporate world rarely make it in the news. Their demand creates the chain of supply but often they go unnoticed and unpunished. Truth and reality get twisted as the story is spun to punish the guinea pigs being used to promote and test the product. Often this ends up being about race and the injustice continues on in new avenues such as discrimination, brutality and wealth segregation. Common misconceptions go unchallenged and the cycle continues. Jesus looked on all men’s heart without bias or favoritism. Amos decried unjust treatment by judges. Other prophets have addressed areas of moral corruption in the government and church systems. American can’t be great again until the moral fiber of our society is considered and the cry for justice on all levels is heard. What we ignore today we will serve tomorrow.
Maybe injustice in your house is not so serious. Maybe your husband gets the remote every night or your kids get the last Twinkie every day. (We have Oreo’s wars at our house so we are not guiltless). Maybe your spouse does all the dishes or you do all the cleaning and it just isn’t fair. Maybe sister Sally gets to sing solos every Sunday or brother Harry has football game parties every time you want to clean the church or do evangelism. Life just isn’t fair and it is not fair in varying degrees. Whether it is perceived injustices or major infractions like someone cutting you off in traffic, we all get the short end of the stick at some time.
We are easily deceived when we believe that God does not see or care. That is why we need the Lord and one another to remind ourselves that God hears, sees, cares and ANSWERS.
Culture, experience and time have jaded us into believing that that is just how things work. Maybe that is why we need to study God’s word deeper – to remind others and especially ourselves that in God’s economy it doesn’t work that way and NEVER will. The following text is about prayer and its importance but as we hear Jesus teach we can also learn about the justice of His father:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7 And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Some of you reading this blog have cried out for justice for a long time. Some have given up waiting for it. Others believe it might be true but no longer want to risk hoping for something that seems to never come to pass. We can remind ourselves today – God is JUST and He promises to “bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night.”
Two gun shops were robbed here recently. The news downplayed it but it is concerning that “bad guys” are now armed. We pray daily that justice will be served and for God’s protection. We can feel helpless or battle in prayer. Before the battle MUST be the belief that there is a just judge who will hear. God is JUST. God acts in JUSTICE. There is a REAL Judgement day.
As I was returning home from work last week I saw a bunch of moms with picket signs on the street corner. They were mad about the crime in our city. I guess I had gotten fed up too. Their sign said to “honk if you agree things needed to change”. I’m not much of an activist but I just put my car in park, laid on my horn and refused to let up. The women started cheering, cars started slowing down to see what the commotion was about. Others started honking and for one brief moment in time it felt like God and the city was hearing the cries of these precious women. It is not much, but it was a start and drew attention to their cause, God’s cause.
We can’t see what God sees if we don’t know His heart. We can’t defend what God defends if we don’t understand His justice or mercy. The news and culture are surely not going to lead us in the right direction. Whether you are a drug user testing out the wares or a man in a suit lavishly snorting up the quality stuff without a care where it came from – there will come a day when God says
He won’t change His judgments based on favoritism, skill, talent or pride. His ways are pure and perfect. He is all knowing and loving but He remains the Just Judge, full of grace but also full of jealousy and wrath.
Rev.6:10 says, “They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Judgement day will come whether CNN reports on it or Hillary Clinton agrees. It will come for Trump supporters and those in high places of leadership and those in the street. God is Just.
I want to know God for who He really is – not just what the churches or movies promote. I want my heart to break with the things that break His. I want my life to reflect the values and attributes of the Creator, not just what Hollywood says is real. I want to stand for the things that matter to the Just Judge who hears our prayers. I also want to walk in just ways in my family, church and work life and that is not always easy in a dog eat dog world.
Praying with you today to be who God wants us to be and do what God would want us to do. As always you are welcome to comment on this blog or email me your viewpoint.
Thankful for His justice, in need of His grace,