A just God is a hard idea to swallow.
One that would determine good and evil, one that would carry out judgment upon the earth. We struggle to believe that a perfectly just God is a good thing, that wrath has a purpose.
But secretly I think we’re all yearning for a perfectly just God.
Injustice is all around us. Abuse. Inequity. Discrimination. Violence. Oppression. We live it, breathe it, mourn over it constantly.
We all recognize that this is not the way things should be.
Luke’s account of the time Jesus walked the earth tells us of a day when Jesus walked into the synagogue and began to read the words of Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)”
Jesus proclaimed his purpose. This was never the way things were supposed to be. He came to set it right. We LONG for things to be set right. Deep in our bones, we grasp that this is not what life should look like.
I think our indignant responses to the idea of a just God have less to do with the purpose of justice and more to do with the authority with which it’s carried out. We scoff at the idea of justice having a single controller.
But who is worthy to carry justice out properly? Are you? Am I? I know even the best-intentioned of those who are tasked with distributing justice make errors.
We want justice, but there is no one to whom we are willing to hand the keys of justice. If no one is perfectly just, yet we all have a deep yearning to see all things set right, to whom can we turn?
It seems only to the One of whom it is said:
“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)”
Our deepest longings point to a desire to see all things set right by one who has the authority to do so. We can push this thought away, we can flee from it, but it remains. And there is only One who is perfectly just in all his ways.