Day 3

justice or mercy?

from the Justice reading plan

Isaiah 59:14-21, Micah 6:8, Luke 4:16-21, Isaiah 30:18

BY Hayley Morgan

Text: Isaiah 59:14-21, Micah 6:8, Luke 4:16-21, Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
– Isaiah 30:18

God’s mercy and grace are the great equalizers. His mercy steals a believer from the jaws of death (which she surely deserves), and sweeps her up into His unending grasp. She is then washed clean and made a daughter of God—such grace! All good gifts she receives are not of her own goodness but are from God above (see James 1:17).

Sometimes though, we can forget that. We can start to think that any good thing, be it beauty or position or money or extra time, is something we’re owed, something we’ve earned. We can start to live tightfisted, with insular lives, just living small and serving our own interests. We can start to live like we can meet God’s standards in our own power, with no need for Him.

We can twist the idea of justice—the restoration of all that is good and right, the recognition and treatment of all people as God’s creation—and make it about us, about “fairness” from our own limited perspective. We can forget that justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive, but rather both characteristics of the one true God.

I think when we first taste God’s mercy and grace, we fully know it’s unwarranted pardon and an extravagant gift. We relish the unexpected sweetness, and we want everyone else to experience it, too. We want to show the lovely gift we received from our Father who calls us the apple of His eye. But over time, just like a dessert you eat every day or a gift you see every day, the shininess wears off. We take it for granted. But God’s blessing is one gift we should never grow used to.

Tim Keller says, “Grace is key to it all…It is the generosity of God, the freeness of his salvation, that lays the foundation for the society of justice for all” (from Generous Justice).

Did you catch that? Grace lays the foundation for justice.

When we understand God’s insane mercy and grace, we will be compelled to live them out in our own lives, meeting the needs of others in love. The Holy Spirit will grow fruits in us that enable us to act justly. But when we forget the generosity of God and the freeness of salvation, we will begin serving ourselves instead of others.

Let’s not be women who forget. Let’s not take for granted God’s grace and mercy in our lives. Let’s remember that we were pardoned and accepted into the family of God. That goodness and sweetness is restoration, friends, and we should seek that restoration for others.

Post Comments (130)

130 thoughts on "justice or mercy?"

  1. Alessandra Montes says:

    Mercy and justice is what I hear everyday. I work as a probation officer for juveniles. At times I’m torn on whether or not to display mercy to my kids or to be a heavy hand of pure justice. I go back and forth. At times I feel no kid in the world deserves any justice or mercy. But I am thankful for a God doesn’t go back and forth and is undecided but instead is always merciful and is a God of justice.

    1. You\’re so right, Alessandra. I\’m so thankful for a God who doesn\’t go back and forth and is always merciful. Thanks for sharing that truth with us today, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  2. Holly says:

    Being merciful is just, because God was merciful to us first when we didn’t deserve it.

  3. Tori Gillit says:

    I am weeping at that last point, today. I beg for justice and recompense of error on others lives so many times. Plead for the gavel to be thrown down on the evil and just desserts for those who’ve gone so far astray, BUT THATS NOT MY JOB, is it…the goodness and justice of God that pardons me should be making me seek “that restoration for others.”

    Good. Good. Heartbreaking truth.

  4. Rhonda Elder says:

    That’s good stuff right there. Thanks for making me ponder.

  5. Janae says:

    Thank you for this reminder of how insanely gracious God has been to us, not for simply our own good – but for the benefit of others!! I feel challenged by your encouraging words to never let God’s gifts to us become ordinary but to choose to live in the reality that His love, grace & redemption are new each day – inviting us to stand for justice for others that need help and healing just like we do! Let’s step out & stand up for those in need alongside our God of justice & grace

    1. Janae, I love what you said about never letting God\’s gifts become ordinary. To always live with an abundant heart! Thank you for sharing with us today, we love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  6. Tana says:

    I am wanted, pursued and adopted into God's family. I needed to remember this today. I am chosen! And His grace lays the foundation for justice. I love that.

    1. You SO are, Tana! Love to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  7. Mariah says:

    It is so important to be reminded everyday that its not about us. Its about God. Its about those around us. So many times, I will be so focused on myself and my own agenda that I forget that there are others around me that I need to be paying attention to. So good to be reminded to put God first, others second, and ourselves last.
    Thank you so much! Was a wonderful lesson!

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