Today, I am grateful for the justice of God. This verse reminds me that – even when things appear out of control and unjust to me – God is still working things out all over the world, all at the same time. This boggles my mind!
God promises in the Bible that He will repay all injustice. As it says in Romans 12:19 (HCSB),
Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.
So even when really bad things happen to us (or to people we care about), we can trust God to be the Architect of all justice – either in this lifetime or in the next. He sees the wrongs done to His children and is grieved and angered by it; however, the timing of when He chooses to mete out His justice is something that only He knows.
Goodness knows that I’ve been through a situation (and am coming out of one now) where I have been greatly wronged, by several different people. I’ve had to forgive them all, but the pain and consequences of the betrayal are still close to the surface. I’ve learned that there are certain steps that the Lord will take to accomplish His justice (His timeline is usually a lot longer than I’d like it to be, though!) but that there is a role He has me to play, too.
I’ve learned that it’s perfectly alright (and even biblical) for me to protect myself from those who are perpetuating wickedness against me. However, there is a difference between protecting myself and proactively attacking those who seek to harm me.
So I’ve take measures to protect myself, but refuse to attack anyone. My prayer has been that God will allows these individuals to reap the consequences of the choices that they have made. Even so, in the midst of all of this hardship, it is clear to me that these people do not have a meaningful relationship with the Lord (or even claim to have a relationship with Him at all) – otherwise, their behavior would be different. This makes me sad, as their actions indicate that they are profoundly lost.
Seeking and finding the lost is God’s specialty, though. I’m grateful that He has a heart for these people; I’ll be curious to see how He both metes out His justice to them, and also woos them to Himself at the same time.
But I digress. The point of this verse to me that is that God is always working out His just purposes all throughout His creation, all the time. There is never a point in time where He is not exercising His justice.
Last month, I remember feeling very upset when I got what I considered to be a ridiculous parking ticket. I parked in a quaint downtown area, and there was free street parking along the curb for two hours. I parked my car, and then went to my appointment.
Anyway, imagine my surprise when – after my appointment – I returned to find a ticket on my windshield. I was incredulous – what offense had I committed? Even a few passersby stopped to marvel at parking ticket I had received.
You see, the ticket was for failing to parking within the lines – you know those brackets that give you some guidance on where your car should be parked? Understand that I wasn’t parked at a rakish angle, or even too close to the vehicle next to me – it’s just that my vehicle was about six inches over one of the lines. The clincher was that the police officer had snapped a photo of the alleged infraction.
I was livid and prepared to appeal. I reasoned, “There was no sign saying that I had to park within the lines.”
I asked a friend of mine – a retired police officer – for his thoughts. His response? “Pay the ticket.” Apparently, my ignorance of this law failed to excuse me from the consequences it. After all, I had parked outside of the line. I had violated the law.
What do you think happened next? I paid the fine.
And so it is with God. Everyone who transgresses His law will pay the fine one way or the other; the miracle is that, as Christians, Jesus has already decreed, “The fine has been paid for you already!” I’m not immune from the consequences of my choices, however (in my case, being short about $45 USD).
I am grateful that we serve a God of justice. He is merciful and gracious to His children – not giving us what we do deserve, and compassionately sparing us from what we actually do deserve. Even more than this, He promises to correct and restore everything that is wrong and broken in the world in the end! The book of Revelation attests to this. He is a God of justice, indeed.
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Lord, thank You for Your justice. I know that I don’t have to worry about seeking revenge when I have been wronged; however, it is sometimes appropriate for me to prayerfully take measures to protect myself from those seeking to harm me, when the situation calls for it. Help me to remember the difference between self-protection and attack; the former is fine, but the latter usually crosses a line into the area of vengeance. By Your own Word, You have claimed that vengeance belongs to You and You alone, so I apologize for the times when I’ve attempted to take matters into my own hands, in a feeble attempt to seek justice. True justice only comes from You because it is an intrinsic part of Your character; You (and Your promises) are 100% reliable and 100% trustworthy, all the time. In Your name I pray, Amen.