Reconciling God’s Love and Justice
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Posted 02 September 2016 - 11:36 PM
(Again not my words. From in touch ministries )
Shout for joy in the Lord , O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord . By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord , the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord , be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Some people reject the message of salvation because they are offended by the Bible’s description of God’s wrath. Even believers can struggle to reconcile the Lord’s love and justice. How can He at the same time be perfectly loving and perfectly just? In an attempt to come to terms with this dilemma, we often try to soften the message of judgment and instead emphasize His warmer, fatherly qualities. But love and justice are not contradictory terms. In fact, you can’t have one without the other.
God’s love brings good into our lives. But if there is no justice, sin runs rampant and causes untold pain and suffering. No one thinks a judge is loving when he or she refuses to punish guilty criminals. To set them loose in society is not healthy for either the wrongdoer or the community. In the same way, our loving heavenly Father cannot allow sin to go unpunished.
But this presents an even bigger dilemma for mankind. We are all guilty before a holy God. That is why Christ came to earth. He bore divine wrath for all our sins so that the Father could be both just and forgiving. His justice was satisfied by the most loving act of all time—Christ’s death on the cross. Now those who by faith accept Jesus’ offer of salvation will not experience eternal punishment for sin.
Although believers will all one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ, there will be no reason to fear. Our judgment has the purpose of determining rewards, not dishing out punishment. In gratitude, we should prepare now for that time by living for the Lord every day.
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