I watched the NE Patriots lose a game yesterday most likely because of bad calls by the referees. It was not a nefarious conspiracy. It was men being human, not getting it exactly right in the split second moment of judgment on the field. Fans that whine about bad calls are the worst, aren’t they? I’m doing it this morning! But, even those who were announcing the game on television remarked at the blown calls that cost the Pats at least 2 touchdowns.
Who among us has not dealt with some kind of unfairness or injustice at one time or another? It could be the truly awful that robs a person of life or liberty. It might be the relatively small issue of being misunderstood and assigned some mistaken motives.
This I treasure about God and the way He treats me (and you). He is just. He never gets it wrong, never misjudges, never misunderstands. That is of great comfort to those who are secure in Christ’s love and should be terribly troubling to those who ignore Him. Paul writes to us – “… God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-7, NIV)
There will be no appeals of Heaven’s verdict, nor is there a need for any. God sees the totality of our life, knows us inside and out better than we know ourselves, knows exactly what we are capable of, the opportunities that have come our way, the disadvantages that hinder us – and is just, His judgment always right. That could be a source of terrible fear except that His justice is tempered by mercy, His desire to justify us (to settle the sins and shortcomings) through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the wonderful message of Christmas that God came into the world to save us. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—” (Colossians 1:21-22, NIV)
In this life Christians may meet with injustice, but not from the Lord. Others may refuse us their friendship. Some may reject us for no reason other than the fact that Christ is our Lord. In some places in the world, even today, disciples are suffering persecution, even death, for Christ’s sake. However, this life is not the last word.
Jesus spoke of the Great Reversal that He will bring at His second coming. We do not merely hope for justice. We are assured of it! “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31, The Message)
Meditate on God’s justice today. I pray that you will take comfort from the fact that He never gets us wrong, never forgets, and is merciful. Ah, and I pray that the truth will help us to be honest with ourselves, so that we are disciples who ‘get it right,’ who refuse to hide behind excuses and rationalizations. If you are going through a time of injustice – find rest in the perfect justice of God that will vindicate you.
Our word from the Word is a prayer. Make it yours. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV) Amen
Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne
Charles Wesley | Rowland Hugh Prichard © Words: Public Domain