Summary: While we so readily set ourselves up as judge and jury, we’re going to learn today that God alone is qualified to be the judge because He is always just and knows everything.
Our Just God
Rev. Brian Bill
July 28-29, 2018
I came across an article in the Huffington Post a week ago. Brent Gehring from Nebraska was returning home after having dinner with his daughter Emma. While he was carrying her in his arms, a man yelled at him, “What the ? Make her walk. That’s what’s wrong with kids today!”
Rather than seething silently, Brent Gehring decided he had a choice to make: “Can I make myself feel better by screaming at him or can I teach him something about life? I won’t lie to you and tell you that it was an easy choice but I got inches from his face, with my daughter in my arms, and quietly asked him if he was referring to my daughter.” The man said, “ yes.”
Listen to how this dad replied: “My daughter has been carrying my faith and my strength for the past 5 years since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She can’t walk but I am happy to carry her because of all the amazing things she has taught me through the years. So I would advise you not address my daughter in any way other than respectful.”
Emma was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor when she was just seven months old. It started behind her right eye and spread to the right side of her brain. She will soon start her seventh round of chemotherapy.
Gehring said the encounter ended with “two grown men with tears rolling down their faces. One that needed to have his eyes opened to what…real love is and one that is always needing a reminder that good can come from any situation.”
He said he shared this story not because he wants people’s pity, but because he wants it to serve as a reminder not to judge others, as you don’t always know the full story.
While we so readily set ourselves up as judge and jury, we’re going to learn today that God alone is qualified to be the judge because He is always just and knows everything.
As we continue in our series called, “Behold Your God,” our focus today is on “Our Just God.” Justice is not an external system to which God tries to adhere. Justice is that perfection of His nature whereby He is infinitely righteous in Himself and in all He does. His justice comes out of His inner being and is based on His holiness and faithfulness. Moses put it this way in Deuteronomy 32:4: “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
A.W. Tozer points out that, “Justice is indistinguishable from righteousness in the Old Testament…it means uprightness or rectitude…justice is not something God has. Justice is something that God is.”
Chip Ingram builds off this definition by adding, “Justice is not a standard God follows; He is the standard. He is not accountable to justice because justice flows from Him. It’s part of who He is…justice means that people are going to get what they deserve based on God’s clear and full understanding of what they did and why they did it.”
God always acts in a way consistent with the requirements of His character as revealed in His Word and He renders to everyone their due because He knows all things.
Let me say that this attribute, along with the related doctrine of God’s wrath, is not very politically correct today. We’d rather hear about heaven while living as if hell is not real. I fear that we’ve turned God into an idol of our own making, where we latch onto His love and focus on his forgiveness while dismissing His holiness and justice. Billy Graham said it like this: “Modern man does not like to think of God in terms of wrath, anger and judgment. He likes to make God according to his own ideas and give God characteristics he wants Him to possess.”
Let’s soak up some Scripture that deals with God’s justice:
Psalm 75:7: “But it is God who executes judgment.”
Psalm 97:2: “Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”
Proverbs 29:26: “Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.”
Isaiah 30:18: “For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
Zephaniah 3:5: “The LORD within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame.”
Revelation 16:7: “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”
Let’s allow the question Abraham asked God in Genesis 18:25 to frame our study: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”