Justice of God – Psalm 58:6-11

The Righteous Cry Out That Wicked Leaders Receive Justice In This Life

6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;
when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

Purge the Powerful

Nothing stinks quite as bad as people in leadership that have gone astray and have abused their power and responsibility over others.  For there is no authority except that which God has established.  David, having been on the receiving end of such a terrible power, the relentless pursuit by Saul’s troops for many years, cries out that their power would be broken.

Without its teeth, the lions, though powerful, would be crippled in their ability to bring down prey.  David calls for the de-fanging of those leaders who would use their power to oppress and destroy the very ones that they have been called by The Lord God Almighty to protect and to serve.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every petty dictator lost their ability to enforce their wickedness upon the helpless and the oppressed?

Salt the Slug

David makes another reference to those wicked leaders and uses the metaphor of a slug that melts as it moves along.  Slugs need the comfort and protection of darkness and a moist environment to move safely.  Just as they melt in the hot sun, or in salt, so does David wish that all wicked leaders would find themselves – melting as they move, their strength ebbing as they struggle, surely a fit end to the ones who would cripple and destroy the innocent and righteous that they themselves are oppressing.  Not only is it fit, it is just that they should, in the sight of those whom have been denied mercy, receive the same measure of mercy.

God is full of love and mercy, but He also says that a man reaps what He sows, for God cannot be mocked.  It is terrible but just when the leaders that sow wickedness in their rule are treated this way by God.  It is both a public humiliation and ruination, but also a warning to future leaders to submit themselves to God or face the same.  God gives them every opportunity to do what is right; however, there are limits even to the patience of God.  And once those limits are met, the mercy of God becomes the just wrath of God.

Quench them Quickly

For those who are oppressed by wicked rulers, relief from unrighteousness cannot come too quickly.  David calls for the swift destruction of wicked leadership.   When wickedness is allowed to flourish, it erodes the endurance of the righteous to bear it, for it appears that God either does not care, or will not intervene.  The usurpation of power of wicked rulers is greatly anticipated by the righteous, for God will not allow such behavior to continue forever.  And when anyone is on the receiving end of such vitriolic hatred and the expenditure of time and effort directed at themby wicked rulers, relief from their power is greatly desired.

Glad they’re Gone

Once the wicked have been removed from power; once the righteous have been avenged by God on behalf of their enemies, the righteous will rejoice, for they will know that God is still just.  It is only fitting that the righteous “dip their feet in the blood of the wicked”.  For so long, the righteous have had to endure oppression by wicked leaders who spill their blood and destroy their lives, that vengeance is desired.  The Lord God Almighty has said that vengeance is His, and He will repay.  The righteous look forward to that day, and pray that it occurs in their lifetime.  They will then see deliverance from evil by The Lord God Almighty Himself.

Joyful Justice

When the unjust rulers are removed from power, the righteous will rejoice, and joy will fill their hearts.  It is then that the righteous can say that they have experienced deliverance from such evil by God.  They will participate in His character through experiential knowledge of His glory and grace.  Then the wicked will fear, and the righteous rejoice, for the reign of terror and destruction will be at an end.

Beware, you rulers who seek wickedness and operate under the cloak of darkness – your time is short.  Repent now, and give glory to God, or face His wrath and your very public destruction in front of the very people you oppress.  God’s vengeance is coming, and there is nothing apart from repentance that will stop it.  You have been warned.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I walking in justice when I have been given leadership over others?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Thank You for your holiness and Your love of justice.  You alone are perfectly just, able to rightly discern the motives of our hearts and the intent of our actions.  Examine my heart, oh God, and see if there be any unrighteousness within me.  Purge it out of me, and strengthen me as I am disciplined.  Remove the dross from my character, that I may walk ever closer with You.  Destroy my enemies, oh God, just as you destroyed the enemies of David.  Give me victory over those who would oppress me, and may your vengeance be upon all who rule without mercy and justice.  May their rule in power come quickly to an end, and may their public humiliation be so great in the eyes of all, that the wicked would shudder before You and fear for their very souls.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Justice of God – Isaiah 59:14-15

The Lack Of Justice Displeases God

14 So justice is driven back,
and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.

Justice Jilted

Evil people seek to position themselves as far from justice as they can get.  Their works demand justice, and they seek to thwart the righteous by escaping what they deserve.  Darkness hates the light, and justice has a tendency to restrict evil from its effects.  Evil would prefer that justice turn its eyes away from their works so that they would not reap what they sow.  In that, those who are tasked to ensure that justice is meted out are threatened or outright bullied into submission, driven back from its rightful place in society.

Righteousness Rejected

Once justice is displaced, the people reject righteousness, because their love grows cold in the darkness of the wickedness that grows in the vacuum.  The only path to success when righteousness is rejected is to embrace evil.  The righteous will stand at a distance, for wickedness will turn its full force of anger and vitriolic hatred towards anyone brave enough to approach the wicked.

In the United States of America, as long as a person agrees with the wicked societal and political positions and stances that are prevalent, regardless of the person’s past indiscretions, they are left alone.  But when any deviation from that worldview is presented, the people who once shielded them become their biggest critics and cry out for their humiliation and destruction.  Labels of hater, bigot, hypocrite, and many others are relentlessly spoken about that person, until their character is fully assassinated.

Yet we are called to display God’s character.  In Jeremiah 29:7:, God calls the righteous to pray for and seek peace and prosperity wherever we are:

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Truth Trounced

As this turning towards evil progresses, truth is attacked as well.  Moral relativism gives birth, and truth can no longer be heard, because, after all, what is truth?  Truth is rejected by those who prefer the power that historical revisionism provides to them.  If you can change what a person believes about the past, you can skew how that person views future events.

Take, for instance, the viewpoint that being of a specific race (color of skin caused by hereditary genetics) somehow magically makes a person “underprivileged”, “oppressed”, “victimized”, “downtrodden”, “targeted”, and any other number of emotionally charged words; it will have a tendency to affect how a person views events.

Predator and Prey

The innate need for unity in purpose forces evil to destroy that which cannot coexist with its ideology and worldview.  Truth and lies cannot commingle.  Those who live in lies despise the very thing that exposes their actions for the evil practices that they are.  Truth and righteousness are then hunted down and extinguished by the unrighteous, so that they will not be reminded of evilness within them.  Wicked people seek to salve their conscience, because their conscience conflicts with their goals and agendas.  Or, as we have seen with the LGBT community, it is not enough to merely tolerate the differences of opinion in viewpoints – everyone MUST agree with and publicly endorse their viewpoint, or be destroyed for their “insolence” in rejecting “the enlightened view”.

Almighty Annoyed

God is never pleased when the vehicles that He created to display His character, honor, and glory refuse to act in the manner for which they were created.  God is greatly displeased when Truth, Righteousness, and the shunning of evil are sought out and destroyed for doing exactly what they were meant to be doing – displaying Almighty God’s character and His love, mercy, grace, and righteousness.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Are we suppressing the truth with unrighteousness?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are very patient with us given the state of the world today.  Your word says that Your mercies renew every morning, but there will come a time when You can no longer be found.  Father, work in the hearts of those whose evil predisposes them to shun Your light.  Help their hearts to break over their sin.  Show them the price that needed to be paid in order to redeem us to You.  And guide each of us towards truth, justice, and righteousness.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

 

Justice of God – 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

God Will Not Withhold His Wrath Forever

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

Selected for Suffering

All who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior will experience suffering.  No student is above his teacher, and we are not above Jesus Christ in this regard.  We should take heart and rejoice in our sufferings, and decide to consider them as an indication that we are truly God’s people:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Woeful Wrath

Paul says something interesting here.  He indicates that God will pay back trouble to those who trouble us.  One of the most difficult things to do as a Christian is to bear up under the abuse of others. A “trick” that we can employ to help us with this is to remember that God will pay back those who trouble us.  This does not mean that we wish harm to come to others; it merely means that we can rest in knowing that God is Just and will punish the wicked.

In order to use this effectively, we must see through God’s lens of eternity and be satisfied with His Justice, resting in the outcome of eternity.  Let us take a step back, and with the revealed knowledge of what God will do (through examining eschatological [end-times] prophecy) understand that from God’s perspective, everything is already accomplished.  This is how God was and is able to endure the disobedience of man – He was able to see Christ crucified and resurrected before the beginning of the universe, as though it had already occurred.

We too should look at the wrath of God as already having been poured out upon those who refuse to believe.  In God’s eyes, as in ours, we should see that the punishment of justice has already occurred.  Those who wronged us but accepted Christ have their sins forgiven in Christ, so justice has been served – Christ paid for it with His holy, perfect, sinless blood, as He did ours.  Justice is served.  For those who refused the free gift of salvation, they are already serving their sentence in the lake of fire.  Justice is served.  Either way, justice has been served, and we can rest in the Holy Justice of God to let these things go so that no root of bitterness will grow in our hearts.

Ruler Revealed

All of this will occur when Jesus Christ is revealed as the Lion of Judah .  He first came as a lamb.  He now returns as the Lion to gather His elect and bring wrath to the unbelievers.  Jesus will be unveiled and the unseen will become seen.  Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, whether they bow willingly or grudgingly.  We will know and be fully known.  What a wonderful and dreadful day that will be!

Destruction of the Disobedient

God will not withhold His wrath and anger forever.  He does not destroy us now because He would like to see as many that would believe would be saved and to display His mercy.  Those that don’t believe will face absolute destruction with the second death – spiritual death (the eternal separation from God in the lake of fire).  They will be tormented for all eternity because they refused to love the truth.  That should sober up every Christian when we think about it and propel us into action so that the message of the Gospel is delivered to all the world.

And when we fail in that, or are unable because the devil has complete control over a region, God will still reveal Himself to people through visions and dreams.  Many in the Middle East, where they are under complete Shariah law, are being reached through this method even today.  Because of this, many are coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Darkness has fallen there, and no one can work but God alone.  Darkness is falling across the entire world.  Places where freedom once reigned and Christianity once flourished and thrived are now being choked out by oppressive governments and their subjected peoples who sympathize with their government’s position.  Take Heart!  Christ has overcome the world!

Glorified by God

And when Jesus arrives, those who found life through salvation of sin in Jesus Christ will be with Him as He is glorified.  We will be like Him.  And we will marvel in His glory from that time throughout all eternity, praising and glorifying Him forever and ever.

Suffering a little now seems insignificant when we consider the eternal glory of God and being in His presence.  Endure the trials before you, knowing that you will be reunited with your Savior in joy and celebration for all eternity.  The pain you suffer now is great, but it is momentary in light of eternity.  Pray that God would comfort you through it, so that you would endure your suffering in such a way that it would bring glory to His name.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask ourselves a question:  Are we bearing up under our suffering so that God will be glorified, as He seeks to prepare us for the time when we will be with Him?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, I greatly look forward to the return of Jesus Christ as the Lion of Judah.  Help me to be prepared so that when He returns, I will be ready and found doing what I have been told to do.  Give me peace as I suffer in my trials, and give me Your eternal perspective on all things that I may be able to look beyond the present to see everything in the lens of eternity.  May this viewpoint bring me comfort and help me to grow in grace and righteousness.  Comfort me in my pain.  It seems as though it will last forever, but You have promised that when I am with You in heaven, there will be no more pain and no more tears.  I greatly look forward to that day.  Blessed be Your Name, Lord God Almighty!  Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

The Justice of God – Isaiah 33:22

God Is a Righteous Judge

For the Lord is our judge,
the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
it is he who will save us.

A Just Judge

God is a just judge.  He judges from the perspective of righteousness, for He is perfect in every aspect of character.  The Bible tells us:

Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

We should rejoice that God is just.  We can be assured that in His justice, there is no fear – for there is no fear in love.  We don’t need to fear a just judge if we are doing right; it is only when doing evil that we need to fear.  And how much more should we fear God as our judge than mere human judges if we are doing evil?

The Law of Love

As a just judge, God gives us laws to establish His authority over us, and to act as a mirror with which we can properly see ourselves and who we really are, not just how we think we see ourselves, or how we portray ourselves to others.  God established just one law when it was just Adam and Eve on the Earth.  He established the Ten Commandments with Moses.  He provided the Israelites the expanded version of law in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  And he shows us that in Christ, love fulfills the law:

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.

Kind King

God is a king, and He is our king.  God is also love personified.  Since God is love, and love is kind, we know that we have a kind king.  God shows this to us insofar as He does not immediately destroy us when we sin.  A harsh king – the idea of God from the world’s perspective – shows Him as an angry old ogre with His finger just above the “smite” button, just waiting for us to fail so that He has the opportunity to press it.

God shows us His love and kindness through the willingness to allow His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be reconciled to Him.  He patiently waits for us and woos us to come and reason with Him – to see His perspective on all things.

His kindness is shown through His mercy and grace.  Only the kindness in love would allow such a holy God – set apart from all sin and unrighteousness – to tolerate us as we come to our senses and accept the free gift of His Son Jesus Christ’s perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection as payment for our sin.  When we view the cross of Calvary from His perspective, we can come to no other conclusion.

Sovereign Salvation

Only a life of perfect obedience could be the acceptable payment for sin.  And God provided that Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.  Salvation comes from the Lord, for He is able to save, and desires that all be saved.  Rejoice in your salvation!  It came at a very great price.

When taking communion with the Saints of God, remember who it is that is your King, that we may properly discern the body of Christ.  Prepare your heart before you go to worship.  Seek your King with all your heart.  Read His Holy Word.  Be sanctified and adorned as the beautiful bride that He seeks.  Do not be asleep:

for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask ourselves a question:  As we reap the benefits of grace and mercy, are we really seeing God as a Just Judge?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You reveal Yourself to us through Your Word and through our lives.  Help me to remember Your Holiness.  Give me a better appreciation for Your hatred of sin.  Help me to keep in mind that no one can see Your face, for we would surely die if we did.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy.  Help me to see my sin as You see it.  Guard me and guide me in all my ways.  Help me to prepare my heart that it would be in a proper state to take communion every day and at all times.  Help me to be consecrated to You and Your purposes, that I would be useful as a holy vessel.  You have already declared that I am a naos – the holy of holies.  Help me to live up to that.  Give me a better understand of You as my King.  This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Justice of God – Psalm 112:5

We Are To Be Just Like Him

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.

Holiness Hampered

We are told many times to conduct ourselves with justice:

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”  Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Arise, Lord, in your anger;
    rise up against the rage of my enemies.
    Awake, my God; decree justice.

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.

There are many more passages, but this should be sufficient.  But time and time again, we see where man has failed in this aspect of the character of God:

But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.

The way of peace they do not know;
    there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;
    no one who walks along them will know peace.

Even today, we see justice hampered due to personal gain, politics, or the judge’s mindset.  People are deprived of their rights to own and use the land they have purchased; the law is applied differently to those who have political influence versus those who don’t have money, power or friends with access to one or both; the illegal alien has more rights and access to opportunity than does the citizen, etc.  In all of this, God’s holiness is not being displayed by the very people He has chosen to be in authority over us.

Lawfully Lenient

But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, who died upon the cross for the sins of all.  In this tragic but very necessary act, Jesus has fulfilled the requirements of God’s perfect, holy law so that we can be spared from His righteous wrath.  And even though this free gift is available to all, most choose not to accept it.

Permanent Punishment

The end result of this is that those who do not choose to believe God are justly sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire.  Since God is perfect, He cannot allow sin to occur without being punished.  And since God is perfect, His justice is perfect, and His judgements are perfect.  And since God’s judgements are perfect, the sentences He pronounces are perfect as well.  And His proscribed sentence for refusing to acknowledging that God is righteous and we are not is eternal separation from God in his jail – the lake of fire.  This was not originally designed for humans, but for the demons and the devil who, being in the presence of God, rebelled against His authority.

Justice means nothing unless the law is enforced, and the sentence matches the crime.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross allows God, during life, to show us mercy and grace.  Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, God’s wrath would still be upon us, and we would face eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.

A Qualifying Question

So, let’s ask ourselves a question:  Am I showing God’s mercy and grace in justice as I interact with others?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have shown Yourself to be full of mercy and grace, in that You give us life and reconciliation through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to be ever mindful of Your desire for us to show Your justice when we are in a position to do so.  Grant us wisdom and discernment that in all things we would act in justice, for that is who You are.  Provide us with the desire and ability to show the world Your justice, that the righteous will rejoice, and those who do wrong will tremble with terror.  Let not the oppressed be overwhelmed by the wicked, and may we see the removal of unjust judges in our court systems.  I pray, Father, that you would reconcile the lost to Yourself, that You would be praised and glorified.  This I ask in the precious and powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?