With so much injustice in our world, so much oppression, I am grateful this morning that God is a God of justice.
Some of us are familiar with Luke 18, where Jesus tells his disciples to pray and not faint. He goes on to tell a story of a widow who persistently petitions a judge for what? Justice! As Christians we sometimes feel that justice works contrary to mercy, and we feel awkward seeking it. In reality, it is God’s desire to close that gap that our sins have created, to make people right with Him so they can be close to Him, that makes Him just. We should also have that heart in this broken and oh-so-wrong world, too: a desire to see people right, the way God created them to be.
“It is from the LORD that one gets justice” (Proverbs 29:26).
“What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations…A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on earth” (Isaiah 42:1, 3-4a).
“The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18).
“But to you who fear my name, the Son of Justice will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves” (Malachi 4:2).
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal” (Job 5:17-18).
“We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our own good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed” (Hebrews 12:9-13).
Perhaps we are uncomfortable with God’s justice because it means that we sin too and must therefore also be made right. Perhaps we are uncomfortable because, although God set up human government to serve sentences that fit the crime committed, He also wants to make the rapist and terrorist right – He doesn’t want to leave them where they are.
But make no mistake, He is a God of justice, and will do everything in His power to make things right – to restore people to who He created them to be, intimate with Him.
“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, He devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from Him” (2 Samuel 14:9 NIV).