Page 4 - February 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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t is a great blessing that God is just –   simply are not in a position to pass
            who would want to worship a deity   judgment on whether or not God is just.
        Ithat cannot be trusted to act righteously   Admittedly, some of God’s actions are
        and faithfully? But God’s justice leads to   difficult for us to rationalize, but those
        uncomfortable realities. For example, God   are occasions for us to humbly confess
        commands Israel concerning the conquest   we do not fully understand Him.  If He
        of Canaan, “You shall save alive nothing   says His actions are just, we bow in meek
        that breathes, but you shall devote them   acceptance, or we are not letting God be
        to complete destruction” (Deu 20:16-17).    God. And the Bible does proclaim God’s
        And concerning a judgment upon anyone   justice, frequently and unequivocally
        who rejects salvation in a future day, “he   – “All his ways are justice” (Deu 32:4),
        also will drink the wine of God’s wrath …   and “righteousness and justice are the
        and they have no rest, day or night, these   foundation of his throne” (Psa 97:2).  In one
        worshipers of the beast and its image”   of the most solemn passages of the New
        (Rev 14:10-11). God doesn’t conceal these   Testament (2Th 1:5-9), God emphasizes
        judgments in embarrassment – “God is   that His judgment is “righteous” (v5),
        light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1Jn   His repayment to the persecutors is “just”
        1:5). And it is in the gleaming brightness   (v6), and He carries out “vengeance” (v8),
        of God’s transcendent glory that the   not “revenge.”  Men cannot put God on
        darkness of man’s sin is exposed for what   ² Despite their protestations to the contrary. “For
        it really is. That darkness, and man’s love   the modern man … the important thing is that
        of it, combined with his hatred of the light   man is on the bench and God is in the dock.”
        (Joh 3:19-20), subject man to righteous   C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology
                                              and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids:
        wrath, “for our God is a consuming fire”   Eerdmans, 1970), 244.
        (Heb 12:29).                          ³ See Psa 131, and Isa 40:14 (“Who taught him
                                              the path of justice?”).
        The Error in Judging God              ⁴ See also Gen 18:19; Deu 10:18; Job 37:23; Psa
                                              33:5; Isa 16:5; Mat 23:23.
          While those biblical passages cited   ⁵ Vengeance emphasizes a pursuit of justice, a
        above offend modern sensibilities, men   righteous punishment. Revenge is more often
                                              about retaliating out of personal resentment.
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   The ESV never uses the word “revenge” in
        the ESV.                              association with God.

        36   TRUTH kTidings   February  2020
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