What More Could God Do to Show His Justice?
Thankfully, I’ve never sat on a witness stand in a court of law. However, I’ve been on the witness stand a time or two in the “court of dad.” No matter where Dad’s court was “in session,” I didn’t want to be found in contempt. Dad expected obedience and respect, and if we didn’t comply, justice would be served. Perhaps you could relate?
While we sometimes think of our fathers in the role of judge (and jury), how do we think of God? Generally speaking, the world seemingly looks at God in one of three characterizations:
1. The Grandpa/Genie – God gives everything I want. He just wants me to be happy.
2. The Enforcer – God is manipulative & controlling, ready to punish at any moment.
3. The Observer – God is hands-off, just observing what we’re doing on earth.
None of these are accurate summarizations of God. God isn’t simply characterized to begin with. While God does observe what we do on earth and allows us to operate with free will, we’d be foolish to make assumptions that He no longer acts providentially. We’d also be foolish to think God “just wants man to be happy.” If that were the case, then what limitations would we have? God has no issue with us experiencing happiness; it’s an emotion He instilled in mankind. What God doestake issue with is disobedience. When that happens, justice is required.
When we notice some of the judgments of God in the bible, perhaps we view God as fitting description #2 as a “heavy-handed enforcer.” Maybe we’re troubled by God’s rulings on Uzzah touching the Ark of the Covenant, or Nadab & Abihu with their strange fire, or Ananias & Sapphira for their dishonesty. None of these cases involved a life being taken, so why did they lose their own lives? How is that just?
You wouldn’t be alone in asking these questions, but we need to be sure to carefully think this through before drawing any hasty conclusions. Consider the writing of Proverbs 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” God understood something deeper than we ever could about Uzzah and the rest – He understood their hearts (and He understands ours too). Let’s not forget God’s operating on a much higher wavelength as He reminds us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Case closed.
While we concluded in the previous article that there’s really nothing more God could do to prove His existence and power in this life, He will definitively prove His existence and justice when our time on earth is done. As we consider God’s justice, may we never forget the humbling statement of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” There’s a witness stand we’ll all be sitting on one day, and we can be certain…justice will be served.