Summary: Have faith in a just God. Justice flows from Him. Wait for the Lord. Delayed judgement is not injustice but the mercy of God. Don't take vengeance. Let go and let God do the judging.
Why do bad things happen to good people? And why do good things happen to bad people?
• When the twin towers of World Trade Centre collapsed and killed nearly 3000 people, where was God?
• When the tsunami hit Japan and destroyed thousands of homes, where was God?
• When my wife died of cancer at the age of 35, where was God?
We all struggle with such questions. Our only conclusion is: Life is not fair!
• Our gut feeling tells us life OUGHT to be fair. We are disappointed when it isn’t, especially when we are on the receiving end of the unfairness.
• Those who don’t believe in God are stuck with their feelings. They have no resolution.
• Those who believe in God often face this difficulty: How can you believe in God, especially a good and just God, when there is so much injustice around? How can God be wise when He allows bad things to happen to good people?
These questions resonate within us. Even when we have experienced years of God’s goodness and faithfulness, one raw deal can make us ask these questions again.
• We struggled because we have yet to fully understand God. We just do not know Him enough.
• Today, we want to learn the attribute of God’s justice. Read Gen 18:22-33.
God saw the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah and was prepared to judge them.
• Abraham pleaded with Him. Remember that this is centuries before the Ten Commandments.
• Abraham, the father of faith, living in a polytheistic world and having no written Scriptures, instinctively knows (by revelation) something about the character of God.
• “Will the Judge of all the earth not judge righteously?” he asked. By faith, Abraham knew God’s character enough to know that there was a STANDARD.
(1) HAVE FAITH IN A JUST GOD
See that with faith, not with the lens of experience or the changing circumstances.
• Don’t interpret God through the sights and sounds of a fallen world we live in today.
• God is just, not because He obeys a standard; He himself is the standard.
• When we say justice needs to be served, we are basing it upon the laws of our country. We are referring to the legal system which we live under and must abide by. We must follow the rules of law. And lawyers in courtrooms try to debate over technicalities and argue over the legal terms, trying to beat around them.
God is not accountable to any law – He is the law. Justice flows from Him. It is who He is.
• He is not trying to follow a standard; He is the standard! We have nothing to fear.
• By faith, Abraham believed God to be just. And on that basis, he pleaded with Him. That is the premise we start with.
• Abraham was interceding for Lot (his nephew) and his family; they were in the city.
• God acceded to his request. If 10 righteous men could still be found in the cities, they would be spared.
We believe in a just God in an unjust world. We believe in a good God in a sinful world.
• Ps 97:2 “Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”
• The picture is like, without these, the throne collapses. God cannot be understood apart from His justice. There is no such thing as an unrighteous God or unjust God.
Life in this fallen world may not always seem fair. But it is only this short span of time in God’s perspective of eternity. Eventually, His justice will reign.
• Isa 30:18 “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
• Isa 42:3-4 “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."
(2) WAIT FOR THE LORD
Jesus shared an enlightening parable about prayer in Luke 18:1-8
18:1 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 about men. 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 about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"