For He Is Just
Open Your Bible
Numbers 13:17-33, Numbers 14:1-24, Jeremiah 32:17-19, Philippians 4:6-7
My little brother just graduated from law school, which officially gives him the right to win all future family arguments. He’s the justice guy. We even played a board game once during a family dinner gathering called I Dissent: A Game of Supreme Opinions that features a gavel on the box cover and cards with controversial topics like “eighties music or nineties music?”. I’ll admit, it was a fun and rousing night since everyone in our family has a supreme opinion about something. Each of us fought to verbally defend our positions or exercise our authority when we got the card that secured us the title of chief justice.
My brother has a strong sense of right and wrong, but it stems from a biblical view of justice. He will fight for what he believes in but also has the gift of compassion and understanding—which do not always come in the same pairing. I admire him for this. Of course, we’re all human. We all fall prey to arguments that further self-interest or show how “right” we are. This is an unmistakable quality of our sin-wrought human condition. But, as believers, we are called to more. Christ models what it looks like to walk in justice and follow the commands of a just God.
We know that God is just; He is for justice. The stories, law, Wisdom literature, and prophecies throughout both the Old and New Testaments are absolutely saturated with it. Numbers 14:18 tells us, “The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished.”
The fact that we serve a God who embodies both mercy and justice is one of the reasons why we worship Him. It can feel good to have judicial control, especially in ornery board games with our family. And it’s important to remember that, even as we try to live with a heart for justice, God is ultimately the One who judges. He has the final say. He is the only One who sees all and knows all and, thus, can judge well. This is why we don’t have to fear those who do evil and can find rest in Him.
As we seek to live as Christ in this way, let’s remember Paul’s counsel in his letter to the Philippians: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).