The LORD is a God of Justice

Often it is said that a loving God would not allow all the evil in the world to continue. That it is not fair that people suffer. And believe me, it does seem unfair. Suffering is hard, and the world if full of it. Even watching someone else suffer can be so painful.

But God is not unfair. He is too kind and too merciful and too loving and too just, to be unfair. If we say God should eradicate evil and the resulting suffering, then what about the sin and evil in our own hearts? No one is untouched by sin. Do we want justice for ourselves, too? Do we want what we really deserve?

A judge must do rightly. A just God could not simply forgive men for the sin they have committed. Think of the ‘worst’ sinner you can. A rapist? A mass murderer? A child abuser? Someone who has committed all these atrocities? If a judge says, “I am loving, so I will let this guilty man go free,” you would cry out for justice.

What if it was your sin on trial? Since every man is under the wrath of God because of sin, he must suffer the punishment of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). Any sin at all is enough to separate us from God, so we are all guilty (Romans 3:23), and someone has to pay the penalty. God the judge must satisfy His own justice and appease His own wrath.

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And God does just that! The good news is no sin is so big or so terrible that the blood of Christ will not cover it. God demands justice, and the grace of God provided it through the death of his only son Jesus, who was crushed for our sin. He was the spotless lamb. By this we know love! God sent his perfect son, Jesus, to take His wrath in our place, so that we could have forgiveness. So that we could have eternal life in his presence forever. So that we get what we don’t deserve. That is not fair! That is grace upon grace. It is mercy. This is the love our Father has toward us.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)

The Lord waits with patience to shower this grace upon you. If we acknowledge our guilt before Him, He commands us to repent of our sin and believe in Him (Mark 1:15), and we will be saved! Because of this, we have hope. In Christ, evil has been conquered. In Christ, suffering has an end. In Christ, death is just the beginning of life forever with him.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10)

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Grace Like Manna

I’ve been thinking a lot about grace recently. There are a lot of commands and reminders in scripture that we are to live for today. We should take heed – we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

Do not worry about tomorrow. (Matt 6:34)
You do not know what tomorrow will bring. (James 4:14; Prov 27:1)
His mercies are new every morning. (Lam 3:22-23)
Our treasure is in heaven, not on this earth. (Luke 12:20-21)

Though I know we are refined by the fire for God’s glory (Isaiah 48:10-11), I still often wonder how some people walk through so much heartache and suffering and don’t just survive but are actually made stronger. I can’t help but think if it were me, I might just give up. The orphan living in poverty, the single mother with 5 kids, the husband who just lost his wife and only son in a car accident, the woman struggling with chronic daily pain. How do they do it? By God’s grace.

Yes, but what does that mean? Why does it seem that I would never be able to handle those things? I am often reminded that grace is given for today. God tells us tomorrow will have enough troubles and not to worry about that, but that he will give us the strength we need for today. The same is true for our friends going through trials. It is like the manna in the wilderness. God provided just enough for each day, and if the Israelites tried to store it up for later, it would rot.

But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted. Exodus 16:18-21

But I am also reminded that grace is particular. If you, like me, put yourself in the shoes of your neighbor or friend, you do wonder. You say, I could never handle that! How does she do it? His faith must be stronger than mine! But their faith is God-given, just like grace. We can learn much by watching our friends’ faith in action. We receive enough grace to help carry their burdens, to comfort, to encourage, to walk beside them. And they receive as much as they need, particular to their situation, to persevere through their greatest trials. And it doesn’t look the same. We do not receive their grace.

The Israelites, or their fathers, did not even know what manna was. As far as we know, God had never provided manna in that way before and he has not since. It was God’s particular grace for the trials he had them endure in the wilderness.

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

So just as we only receive grace for today, we only receive grace for our specific trials. We trust that God will take care of all his children’s needs, even when we can’t comprehend how he is working, or how this could possibly work out for good, or how we would handle the same situation. We are commanded not to worry. He will supply. He will be faithful. He is enough. Both for today, and for all our tomorrows.

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Undeserved Grace

Do you feel like God is disappointed in you? Like you will never measure up? Like you fail too often?

If I am honest, I think like this often. But if 2 Corinthians 5:21 is true (and it is),

For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

and if Psalm 103:10-14 is true (and it is),

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

then if you are in Christ, though your sin grieves him, God looks at you with the same love and delight as Jesus, his perfect son.

Even if your sin goes deeper than you could ever imagine, God’s grace goes deeper still.

You could never do enough to please him on our own, but Christ. We are weak, but Christ! He really does love you. His Word really is sufficient. His promises really are true. Trust that his sacrifice is enough for you today!

“All of the sin I have committed
Was placed upon Your righteous Son
And now You see me through His perfection
As if I’d never done any wrong”

Always Forgiven, © 2003 Sovereign Grace Worship.

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