Summary: Justice is not an external system to which God tries to adhere. He didn’t have to go to law school or get a TV courtroom to learn how to apply the law. His justice comes out of his inner being and is based on His holiness, His truthfulness, and His righ
Our Just God
This past Monday I had the opportunity to play “Mr. Mom” while Beth attended a conference in Chicago. There is no doubt in my mind that Beth has a more difficult job than I do!
My greatest challenge came late morning when I was trying to give our baby Megan a bottle. Since Beth is nursing her, Megan has no interest in artificial leche that’s the one word I know in Spanish. Being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to sit down on the couch, and watch “Judge Joe” on TV while I tried to figure out how to get some formula down Megan’s throat. I was worried that she was going to dehydrate on me! Whenever I put the bottle in her mouth, she would just smile at me and push it away with her hands.
Finally, I came across a plan. I took the Playtex bottle in one hand and used my other hand to push the little bag of formula up into the bottle so the milk would spray out the nozzle or whatever it’s called. Whenever Megan opened her mouth, I just aimed, and squirted. She didn’t get much in her mouth but I did hear her swallow a couple times.
While Judge Joe was berating a young man in his TV courtroom, and Megan was wiping milk off her chin as it drooled down her neck, our 5-year-old Becky came into the room. She observed what I was doing, frowned a little bit and said, “Dad, do you really know what you’re doing?”
Just then Judge Joe was lecturing the criminal on TV by asking him a similar question, “Son, did you really know what you were doing?” I was afraid that Becky and Megan were going to press charges so I quickly put the bottle down and listened intently to the judge conclude his remarks by saying, “I’ve seen your types before. Even if you didn’t know what you were doing, I know what you’re all about. You’re guilty as charged. Now pay up!” I don’t know how this guy got up the courage, but he yelled out at Joe the Judge, “That’s not fair! I don’t deserve that kind of punishment it was my fiancée’s fault!”
Like Judge Judy on a different channel, Judge Joe seemed to enjoy dispensing justice maybe a little too much! I couldn’t help but wonder the same thing his ruling didn’t seem all that fair.
As we continue in our series called, “Getting to Know God,” our focus this morning is on “Our Just God.” Justice is not an external system to which God tries to adhere. He didn’t have to go to law school or get a TV courtroom to learn how to apply the law. His justice comes out of his inner being and is based on His holiness, His truthfulness, and His righteousness. Moses put it this way in Deuteronomy 32:4: “He is the rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”
God always acts in a way consistent with the requirements of His character as revealed in His law. He rules His creation with honesty. He keeps His word. He renders to all creatures their due.
The word justice in the Bible refers to conformity to a rule or norm. God plays by the rules. The ultimate norm of justice is His own Holy character. There is a consistency in God, a straightness about Him. This is in contrast to humans, who are referred to as being unrighteous, or crooked. We refer to criminals as crooks because they are crooked -- they’re not straight. Only God is. In all eternity, God has never done a crooked thing.
Let me give you a brief overview of some key passages that deal with God’s justice:
Psalm 9:16: “The Lord is known by His justice.”
Psalm 75:7: “But it is God who judges.”
Proverbs 29:26: “Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that man gets justice.”
Daniel 9:14: “For the Lord our God is righteous in everything He does.”
Our fascination for fairness is found not only in court and in real life, but also in the Bible. A case in point is a parable Jesus tells in Luke 18, which describes an incredibly corrupt legal system. It’s a simple story with only two characters, a crooked judge and a desperate widow. Jesus told this story to show that God is the exact opposite of this type of judge. This profound parable touches on at least four points about God’s justice:
We want it
We don’t want it
We’re going to get it
We may have to wait for it