"Give Thanks To Jehovah, For He is Good"
Psalm 106:1
2015 year text

Thursday, March 3, 2011

God's Quality of Justice

What is Justice?
Today, many view justice as the fair application of the rules of law. From the human standpoint justice is the cold application of regulations out of sense of duty or obligation.

God's justice, is much more. The Biblical justice means, " what is right, righteousness, the quality of being right or just. There is no difference between righteousness and justice. (Amos 5:24) God always does what is right or fair, with out prejudice (Romans 2:11) It is impossible for God to act unjustly. Why? Because He is holy. Jehovah is pure and upright, incapable of acting unrighteously. Also, God is love, this quality moves him to be righteous or just when dealing with others. Injustice in many forms, -racism, discrimination, and partiality- are manifested from greed and selfishness, the opposite of love.
"Jehovah is righteous; he does love righteous acts."-Psalm 11:7 (Compare: Isa 61:8; Jeremiah 9:24)

Mercy and Jehovah's perfect Justice.
"The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he."-Deut. 32:3, 4. His justice is never too lenient, never too harsh.

"Jehovah is gracious and righteous; and our God is One showing mercy."- Psalms 116:5. He is just and merciful. His mercy is not a watering down of his justice, as if his justice was too severe. These two qualities may be expressed by him at the same time, even in the same act. Example:

All humans are by inheritance sinful and therefore deserving of sin's penalty-death. -Romans 5:12. Jehovah finds no delight in the death of sinners, being "a God of acts of forgiveness, gracious and merciful." -Nehemiah 9:17. However, because he is holy, he cannot condone unrighteousness. Then, how can he show mercy to sinners? By Jehovah's most precious provision of a ransom for mankind's salvation. This loving arrangement is both just and merciful. By means of it, Jehovah can express tender mercy toward repentant sinners while maintaining his standards of perfect justice. Please read: Romans 3:21-26.

Jehovah's justice is Heartwarming
1. Jehovah's perfect justice moves him to show faithfulness and loyalty toward his servants. Psalms 37:28 says: "For Jehovah is a lover of justice, And he will not leave his loyal ones. To time indefinite they will certainly be guarded..." (See also: Pr. 2:7, 8)

2. Divine justice is sensitive to the needs of the afflicted. Notice the special provisions made for the orphans and widows in the Law at Deuteronomy 24:17-21. (Deut.10:18; Ps.68:5) Jehovah can be provoked to righteous indignation by deliberate acts of injustice. (Ps. 103:6)

3.Jehovah is completely free from bias or favoritism. Yes, the opportunity of becoming his true worshipers, with endless life in view, is not restricted to an elite few. Rather, "in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him." -Acts 10:34, 35. This prospect is open to all regardless of their social standing, color of skin, or the country in which they live.

No Exemption From Punishment:
If Jehovah does not condone unrighteousness, how can we account for the unjust suffering and the corrupt practices we see in the world today? Many injustices in this wicked world are a consequence of the sin that humans have inherited from Adam. We live in a world where imperfect people have chosen their own sinful ways, this causes injustice to grow, but not for long. (Deut 32:5)

Jehovah shows great mercy to those who in all sincerity want to draw close to him by following his direction. Today, many like the Psalmist of old ask:
"How long, O God, will the adversary keep reproaching? Will the enemy keep treating your name with disrespect forever?" -Ps. 74:10.
Jehovah will not forever tolerate a situation that brings reproach upon his holy name. (Ps. 74:22, 23.) He will not shield willful sinners from the adverse judgment their own action deserves.
Exodus 34:6, 7 clearly states: "...Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin, but by no means will he give exemption from punishment, bringing punishment for the error..."

Example: The ancient Israelites repeatedly fell into unfaithfulness. Their corrupt ways made Jehovah "feel hurt" however, he did not immediately cast them off. (Ps 78:38-41) He mercifully extended opportunities for them to change their course. Listen to his words at Eze 33:11:
"Say to them, '"As I am alive," is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, "I take delight, not in the death of the wicked one, but in that someone wicked turns back from his way and actually keeps living. Turn back, turn back from your bad ways, for why is it that you should die, O house of Israel?"
Because Jehovah views life as precious he kept on sending prophets to the people so that the Israelites would turn back from their bad ways. The majority of them refused to listen and repent. Finally , for the sake of his holy name and all that it stands for, Jehovah gave them into the hands of their enemies. (Nehemiah 9:26-30) Yes, Jehovah is deeply affected by the unrighteousness he sees in the world. (Pr 15:3) He seeks to show mercy if there is a basis for doing so. His justice is never hasty. Jehovah exercises patience. However, divine patience has limits. Why? Because Jehovah is firm for righteousness. He never lacks the courage to stand up for what is right. We can be sure that he will fulfill his promise to rid this earth of all injustice. His way of judging is: firmness where necessary, mercy wherever possible. (2 Peter 3:9)

Jehovah hates Injustice
Why then does he allow injustice and suffering to continue?
The satisfying answer has to do with the issue of sovereignty. As our Creator, Jehovah has the right to rule over the earth and all those who dwell in it.(Ps 24:1; Rev. 4:11)
God's sovereignty was challenged in the garden of Eden. How? Jehovah commanded the first man, Adam, not to eat from a certain tree in the garden. If he disobeyed, "you will positively die," God said. (Gen 2:17) This was not a hard command to obey, as they were free to eat from a wide variety of trees, made just for them. Satan convinced, yes seduced Eve with the idea that God was being unduly restrictive. Satan went as far as telling Eve: "You positively will not die." -Gen 3:1-5.

Satan's words implied that Jehovah with held very important information from Eve. He said that God had lied to her. Yes, Satan challenged the rightfulness, deservedness, and righteousness of God's sovereignty. He was actually saying that Jehovah was not exercising His sovereignty in a righteous way and for the best interests of His subjects.

Both Adam and Eve disobeyed Jehovah. According to God's word, their disobedience put them in line for the punishment of death. Yes, Satan's lie raised vital questions.
1.Does Jehovah truly have the right to rule mankind, or should man rule himself?
2.Does Jehovah exercise his sovereignty in the best possible way?

Jehovah could have used his power to destroy the rebels right then. But eliminating Adam, Eve and Satan would not have proved the righteousness of God's rule. Instead, it might have called his rulership into question even more. The only way to find out whether humans could successfully rule themselves, independent of God, was to let time pass.

What do we see, as we contemplate the history of man's rule? People have experimented with many kinds of government: autocracy, democracy, socialism, and communism. But all of them have verified the words at Ecclesiastes 8:9, "Man has dominated man to his injury." Do you agree with the prophet Jeremiah who wrote, "I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step." -Jer 10:23.

Jehovah knew that mankind's independence, or self-rule would cause much suffering. Does his allowing this outcome make him unjust? Think about this example: A child of yours needs surgery to cure a life-threatening illness. The operation will cause your child a degree of suffering, and this makes you very, very sad. At the same time, you know that this procedure will allow your child to enjoy better health later in life. In the same way, God knew, in fact he foretold that by allowing mankind to rule would bring a measure of pain and suffering. (Gen 3:16-19) He also knew that lasting relief would be possible only if he allowed all mankind to see the bad fruitage of rebellion. In this way the issue could be settled permanently, for all eternity.

In challenging God's rulership, Satan slandered Jehovah in regards to his sovereignty, and he has slandered God's servants concerning their integrity. How? When speaking about God's servant Job, Satan said to Jehovah, " Have not you yourself put up a hedge about him and about his house and about everything that he has all around? The work of his hands you have blessed, and his livestock itself has spread abroad in the earth. But, for a change, thrust out your hand , please, and touch everything he has and see whether he will not curse you to your very face." -Job 1:10, 11.
Satan said that using his protective power Jehovah was buying Job's devotion, that Job only worshipped Jehovah for what he would get in return. Satan's challenge was that if Job did not have God's blessing, even that man, described as, "blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad." would curse his Creator. If Satan could break this faithful man's integrity then what about the rest of mankind? Yes, Satan has called into question the loyalty of all those who want to serve God saying, "Everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul." -Job 1:8; 2:4.

History has shown that many, like Job, have remained loyal to Jehovah in the face of trial- contrary to Satan's claim. They have made Jehovah's heart glad by their faithfulness, and have given a reply to Satan's taunt that humans will stop serving God when they are subjected to hardship. Heb 11:4-38

God's exercise of justice involves more than the issues of sovereignty and man's integrity. The Bible has recorded many instances of Jehovah's judgments in relation to individuals and even nations. It also, contains prophecies of future judgments. We can be confident in Jehovah's judgments,
"All his ways are justice"
-Deut 32:4

In these last days, we are experiencing "critical times hard to deal with".
-2 Tim 3:1. Jehovah has not changed. He still hates injustice, and he cares deeply for victims of injustice. If we are loyal to Jehovah and his sovereignty he will give us the strength to endure until his appointed time when he will correct all injustices under his Kingdom rule. -1 Peter 5:6, 7.

God's justice reminds us of His Wisdom. Genuine wisdom is a most precious quality. Jehovah alone is it's source. Next, we will take a close look at Jehovah's limitless wisdom.

1 comment:

sandyseashells said...

I read this post.
I will look up these scriptures.

I'm overwhelmed today, but I do read the scriptures for answers. Even if it's only one a day.