Lion of Judah
For some reason I, and I believe many Christians, are aware less of God’s just nature than any of His other characteristics. We seem to forget that His justice is just as powerful and important as His love, grace, mercy, and absolute control and power. This is evident in our preaching. We seem to try to strip the message of the Cross from God’s justice, anger, vengeance, and hatred towards sin. I believe the consequence of this is the absence of godly repentance, and false hope in salvation. Somehow in our minds the Lamb of God, the Saviour of the world, is not quite as present as the Lion of Judah, the Lord of Lords. May be we are scared to think about God’s justice because we don’t like to think about the day when we will stand in front of Him and give account for our actions. Or may be we don’t speak about God’s justice because we don’t want people to think that we are bitter, hateful, judgemental, unforgiving, or vengenful.
In 2003 on the last day of high school and right before exams a close classmate of mine was sitting with me and few other classmates around a table in the school’s library. He was from Pakistan and he and I used to discuss our religious beliefs quite often as he was a Muslim and I am a Christian. He was very smart and was doing very well in school with an average, I believe, in the mid 90s in the last year; he wanted to become a doctor. He also used to spend a lot of time hanging around teachers at school. On that day in the library he said, “Fadi, I want to tell you something.” I said, “Ok” and he proceeded to say, “You know, I spend a lot of time helping the physics teacher and this last semester he had asked me to help him mark the labs and so whenever I came across you lab reports I never gave you as high marks as you deserved. I made sure you never got a full mark on any lab.” I was shocked by his actions (and my other classmates too) because I didn’t understand how can anyone do something like this. But the incident didn’t concern me much because as far as I was concerned I wasn’t going to university until I found out what God’s will for my life was first (primarily what were the talents He had gifted me with). And so after high school I worked in a warehouse for four years and initially I kept contact with that classmate but then I lost contact with him. About six months after graduation I happened to chat with another classmate from high school and I asked him if he knew what everyone from high school was doing and he mentioned that my Pakistani classmate was studying at University of Toronto but he wasn’t doing well at all—that he was failing 3 out of 5 courses or so. I immediately remembered his actions of stealing grades away from me and I though of God’s justice.
I can give you many personal examples about God’s justice and the Bible is certainly full of similar stories. But I am writing this mainly because Valentine's Day passed by few days ago and I thought about the many women (and men) who gave their all to their spouses whom in return committed adultery against them and sinned against God. Sometimes when I watch TV I am appalled when I see a man who committed adultery worried about getting a divorce not because he destroyed his marriage and family and devastated his wife, a woman who gave her life and entrusted herself to him, but because he doesn’t want to lose half the house!
When it comes to justice I like the words by Dr. Charles Stanley who once said something to the like, “You say you don’t believe in hell because you don’t believe a loving God sends people to hell. I believe in hell because I don’t believe a loving God sends wicked people to heaven.” I don’t know where you are in life but if you feel mistreated and that justice has not been done in your case, then I want you know that God is the great judge who sees that justice is carried out.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
(2 Corinthians 5:10)
"Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."
"I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds."
The Beatitudes -- Matthew 5:1-12
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Toronto, ON; winter 2009.)