The God of Justice

Sep 27, 2021 2261

God of Justice

I used to love the God of love, but the God of justice? … Not so much.

The God of love seemed so much nicer than the God of justice. The God of love liked to be with people. He understood people. He was kind and compassionate towards others. The God of love didn’t seem to spend his time punishing people so much. He didn’t seem to delight in “smiting people in his mighty wrath.”

When I looked at the life of Jesus, I saw him doing “loving” things. He helped the outcasts, the drown-trodden, and the abused.  He healed and forgave people. Really, I didn’t see him executing justice.

But I was blind, because I didn’t understand the meaning of love, and what justice really is, and I didn’t understand the character of God. Now, because I have understood the Gospel, I can honestly say that now I love the God of justice!

God is a God of love. Love rescues, love vindicates, love rights wrongs. And these are all the purposes of God’s justice.

God is a God of justice.

Our God is certainly a God of justice. The Bible tells us that justice is the foundation of his throne (Ps. 89:14.) We are told that:

all his ways are justice… just and upright is he.” (Deut. 32:4).

That’s why God’s purpose on earth is all about justice, from beginning to end. In the Old Testament, Micah expressed the often-repeated prophetic cry for justice:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8.)

Before him, the prophet Isaiah had written,

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17).

In the New Testament, Christ announced at the beginning of his ministry that his purpose was to work justice:

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,

 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19).

Christ was here quoting the prophet Isaiah (61:1–2; 25:6), demonstrating that he saw his ministry as a continuation of the work of the prophets. His merciful works were works of justice. He made what was wrong, right. He referred to those who pretended to be religious while neglecting pursuing justice for others as “hypocrites” (Luke 11:42).

God’s love and his justice are not different things, nor are they two sides of the same coin: they are the same thing.

The Cross is the epitome of justice, for there he loved the unlovable, forgave sin, and turned lost sinners into sons and daughters. And at his resurrection he destroyed death. What could be more just than that!

But what about the destiny of the wicked? God is the source of life (John 14:6; 17:3; 1 Tim. 6:16), and those who are not with him will perish (John 3:16). As Christ himself says,

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life… (John 3:36).

This too is just. It’s a personal choice. It is loving for our wishes to be respected. Our choices have consequences, and sometimes eternal consequences.

Think about it: if God were to take those who obstinately reject his love to heaven, what kind of happiness could they have in a never-ending life of perfect love?

God’s love and his justice are not different things, nor are they two sides of the same coin: they are the same thing.

As Christians we should pursue justice. And it should spill over into every aspect of our lives. Shouldn’t we

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute” (Ps. 82:3).

This isn’t a philosophical thing, it’s not a social thing, it’s not a political thing. It’s a Christian thing.

If God loves justice, then shouldn’t you?

Eliezer Gonzalez

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Aaron Tata ndi

Oct 27, 2021

This really makes me think deeper. Thanks eliezer

Ursula Schrattenholzer

Oct 7, 2021

I too struggled with the concept of "God's justice" until I became aware that in the original language it reads "God setting things right!" This makes a big difference in my understanding and I am very grateful!

Eliezer Gonzalez

Oct 4, 2021

Hi Geoff - I think the reason why the point is often missed is because people don't start with the Gospel. That is the secret for all things. Grace and Peace. Eliezer

Shirley Glover

Oct 3, 2021

A much needed article for my thoughts at the moment............thanks Eliezer. Shirley

Geoff Reilly

Oct 3, 2021

Thank you Eliezer this really made me think, there is a lot to be considered. I have heard preachers on the subject of justice but because they totally missed the point so did I ! Thank you for making it so clear.

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