The story of Noah is a powerful one of God’s strength, justice, mercy, and restraint. God is able to create and destroy all things. He is able to provide both justice and mercy. And because He loves us he shows mercy through it all. When God destroyed the earth He did it to cleanse the earth of the evil that had infested it. But man’s sinful nature still exists as shown in the example of Noah’s drunkenness and his youngest son’s sin. Evil will always exist in this world, but so will God’s judgement and mercy. We must all strive for righteousness and know that God has justice and mercy covered.
Psalm 58 was written by David when justice was twisted by men who were supposed to be in authority. David prayed for justice when there was no sign of justice to be found. David’s example to us is to rejoice in knowing justice will triumph in the end because God’s judgement is complete and fair. Psalm 57:11 summarizes with, Then men will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”
Psalm 10 is timely as we contemplate the direction of our country on this election day. It is times like these we question why the wicked always seem to succeed. The important thing to remember is God may seem to be hidden at times, but we can rest assured he is aware of every injustice. Psalm 10:16 says, The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. When evil succeeds it is always temporary. God’s justice will always prevail.
When we look for justice from imperfect people, we get imperfect justice. Proverbs 29:26 says, Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that man gets justice. Only God can delivery perfect justice when we feel wronged by the evil in this world. Trust that God’s deliverance will come in His perfect timing.
In today’s reading we listen as Jesus condemns the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. Of all the things Jesus mentions, the passage that stood out to me most was Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” While we may feel good about giving our stuff (money, possessions, etc.) to the church and those in need, what we really need to concentrate on is reflecting Christ’s example from when He was here on earth. When we fail to do what is right by taking care of people and loving them, we fail at being who God calls each of us to be.
In today’s Psalm we read a poem written by The Sons of Korah (temple assistants), most likely for Solomon’s wedding. While this is mostly historic, it is also seen as prophetic about Christ and His bride, the church. It is a reflection of our praise for Him through all generations and into eternity. Psalm 45:6 says, Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
It seems believers are turning more and more away from the notion that God is just. I think it is easier to believe God’s love means He doesn’t want justice for sin. While God has provided a provision for sin when we trust and believe in the saving grace provided by Christ’s sacrifice, God still demands justice which is why Christ had to be crucified for our sins. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 says, God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. This also means God protects us. He is able to provide justice on our behalf. There is nothing wrong with asking for justice as long as we remember it is up to God to provide it.
There is only one true God. Since the beginning of time, there is only one God who can do all He has done. Isaiah 64:4 says, Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. God’s greatest desire is to have a relationship with us and to be our protector and provider. All the judgement and suffering we read about in these passages comes from our disobedience and rebellion from God. Let us remember that God is a loving God. He also requires justice, but He never stops loving us.
It is sometimes surprising how violent the Bible can be. Jezebel’s death at the end of 2 Kings 9 is fairly brutal. One of the things you have to respect the about the Bible is that it is real and it holds back nothing. God is loving and He is just. Jezebel was evil and God judged her for her evil acts and He did not hold back in painting the picture of judgement on her. We must look to God for His love, but anyone who mistakes His ability to love for His ability to judge misses the whole picture of the nature of God. Let us not short-change God for who He is and what His expectations are of us.