Their Just Desserts.
“‘The LORD isn’t looking,’ they say, ‘and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.’ Think again, you fools! When will you finally catch on? Is the one who made your ears deaf? Is the one who formed your eyes blind? He punishes the nations — won’t he also punish you? He knows everything — doesn’t he also know what you are doing? The LORD knows people’s thoughts, that they are worthless!” – Psalm 94:7-11 NLT
Justice. We all want it. At least we think we do. Especially when it applies to someone else. When we read of someone doing something wrong or unfair, we demand that justice be done. We want to see them brought to justice – whether it is a corporate executive who has swindled money from his investors or an extreme radical terrorist who has taken innocent lives in some cowardly fashion. We long to see justice served and the guilty punished. But what is justice? Do we understand what it even means? According to the dictionary definition, it is “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause; the administering of deserved punishment or reward.” It is both the quality of being just or righteous – doing the right thing, and it is the action of upholding what is right by punishing those who have done wrong.
There have always been those who believe that justice does not apply to them. They are above the law. They can somehow break the rules and escape justice. And sometimes our society allows them to do so. They may even believe that they can escape the justice of God. In Psalms 94 we see a glimpse of their attitude. They think that the God who created them cannot see what they are doing or hear what they are saying. He is somehow blind to their actions and attitudes, and even if He could see what they are doing, He is impotent to do anything about it. But the Psalmist reminds us of the idiocy of this conclusion. God sees all, and because He is just and righteous, He deals with all in a righteous way. Maybe not in the time frame we would like to see, but eventually God makes all things right. He brings about justice. No one escapes it. You see a picture of this in 1 Kings 2 as Solomon ascends to the throne of Israel. In this chapter Solomon begins his reign by establishing justice and giving some evil men their just desserts. In quick succession he deals with Joab for his murders, Shimei for his unfaithfulness, Adonijah for his deceitfulness and treachery, and Abiathar for his role in Adonijah’s rebellion. Each of these men had acted unfaithfully in some way. They had committed an unjustice and deserved to be punished. Adonijah had attempted to take the throne of David away from Solomon. Joab had disobeyed David and killed two innocent men. Abiathar had aided Adonijah in his aborted coupe attempt. Shimei had turned against David and cursed him when he had been forced to flee Jerusalem when his son, Absalom took over the city. Each of these men were guilty and deserved punishment, and some of them had seen enough time elapse that they thought they had escaped justice. They were home free. But Solomon began his reign by making sure justice was served. The wrongs were made right. The guilty were punished.
In this story we see a glimpse of the justice of God. He will deal with the evil that exists in our land. We may feel like He is blind to what is going on around us, or perhaps incapable of doing anything about it. But God has a good memory and is patient. He will deal with the injustices of this world in His time and according to His ways. But rest assured, justice will be done. With the Psalmist we can cry out, “O LORD, the God to whom vengeance belongs, O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice be seen! Arise, O judge of the earth. Sentence the proud to the penalties they deserve.” (Psalms 94:1-2 NLT). He will do what needs to be done. He will right every wrong and punish every wrong doer. What Solomon did in an imperfect way, God will do perfectly. We can know that justice will be served. One day God will administer His justice righteously and completely. So when we see evil taking place around us, we can rest in the fact that God sees and God will act. He will deal with it.
Father, we live in a world filled with injustice. People take advantage of others. People unfairly harm others. The innocent suffer and the wicked seem to get away with doing what is wrong. But You are not asleep. You are not powerless or disinterested. You are just and righteous. You see all that is going on and You will repay each person for the evil they have done. Thank You for that reminder. But also, thank You for the assurance that my sins are forgiven. That I will not have to undergo punishment for the evil I have done because of Your Son’s death on the cross. Never let me use that as an excuse to live the way I want to live, but help me to serve You obediently and faithfully out of gratitude that I am seen as just in Your eyes. The punishment for my sins has been paid in full. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men