The Justice Of God by Elijah Ramzy
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There are times when circumstances around us lead us to ask God for justice.
And, there are times when we're led to ask God for mercy.
But, rarely if ever are these brought together. What I mean is rarely when we're asking God for justice do we also ask God for mercy. It's usually one or the other.
"God, act justly in this!"
"God, we need your mercy!"
As my pastor has shared, God's justice and mercy were reconciled at the cross, "a crescendo only God could orchestrate." The cross is where we see both the justice for our sin and the mercy for the sinner brought together.
This week as we read Psalm 50, my friend Elijah Ramzy, is sharing his reflection with us to help us better understand the justice and mercy of our heavenly Father.
Elijah Ramzy is a writer, student, and lover of theology who is passionate about helping others learn to behold and value all that is good, beautiful, and true through the reading of scripture and the formation of the soul towards living and being with God. He is currently serving as a pastoral intern at C|Life Church in Forney, TX, where he assists with membership classes, online services, and writing materials for the church.
...and the heavens proclaim his righteousness for he is a God of justice - Psalm 50:6
So often in my life whenever I think of God being a judge or having justice be a part of who He is, it scares me a little bit. Whether it be because I view God as some kind of cosmic police officer waiting to correct me or due to wanting to hide my sin and shame rather than reveal it to the One who can ultimately heal me, my view of God as a God of justice was warped for a while. But the further I dove into the scriptures, the more I began to see that the justice of God is never separated from the mercy of God.
The story of Job is a timeless example of God displaying His justice even in the midst of immense suffering. Job is given physical ailments, his land is destroyed, and his family has turned his back on the God they have served for decades yet throughout the story the love of God is persistent and unending. Near the end of the book after allowing Job to sit and discuss with friends along with pondering in his own mind the reason for the suffering going on, God simply begins by asking a few questions towards Job like,
"...where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-surely you know!..” - Job 38:4-5
The questions are obviously rhetoric in nature, but they get the point across well.
God is not in the business of allowing you or I to see God as good to us or even for us based simply on our life circumstances, but we see God as good because that is exactly who He is.
We know God is a God of love because there has never been a time when God the Father did not love God the Son (Jesus) through the power of God the Holy Spirit. We know God is compassionate and merciful to the outcast because He was willing to dine and commune with them even when the religious leaders of the day would mock and revile at what He was doing. Most importantly, we know that God is truly a God of justice because of what Jesus did on the cross.
When Jesus went to the cross, He had in mind all the sins of our past, present, and future. Jesus bore all of our guilt and shame so that we would experience delight and contentment with God for all of eternity. All the justice you were meant to receive because of your sins, Jesus the God-Man took on for us because of His great love for us. Another way to put it is, when we put on the robes of righteousness, God looks at us and sees us as His beloved children, chosen, redeemed, beautiful, and lovely in His sight by proclaiming:
This is my son (or daughter) with whom I am well pleased - Matthew 3:17
To circle back, the sum of all of this is to simply say that the justice of God always has a direct line to the love of God. There are no characteristics of God that are separate from one another because God is unified in all that He does. God will right all wrongs at its proper time and watches dutifully over all of the earth. Rest assured, God will let no wrong be unaccounted for or wise living be unrewarded. We truly do have a God of unending justice and mercy.
Now, It's Your Turn!
Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...
Read Psalm 50 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.
Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.
Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.
I will trust the character of God. He is both just and merciful and His ways are higher than mine.
Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.
How have I seen the justice of God always have a direct line to the love and mercy of God in my own life?
Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.
Praise God for this!
And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.
Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.
Also, you can find more of Elijah's writings at elijahramzy.com and receive weekly emails by adding info on the connect page. Find him on social at @elijah_ramzy on Instagram or Elijah Ramzy on Facebook!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
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