By Dan Hamilton
Perhaps you grew up in a home where justice was swift and powerful. No matter which parent handled discipline problems in my home as a child, we never had to wait very long for justice to be served. Somehow the authorities in our household could get to the cause of the conflict rather quickly and pronounce sentence. All wrapped up in one set of parents were the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in our home.
There were a few times when I felt that justice was on my side—when my siblings were being punished for mistreating their most innocent brother—me! Far more often the laws, the sentence, and the punishment seemed a bit harsh. Those were usually the times that justice was being served in my direction because of my wrongdoing. Only years after both the incident and the punishment can I look back and see that there were many benefits of justice in our home.
God’s Justice Benefits His Followers
Isaiah 59 expresses well God’s disappointment over the nations of the world during an important time in Israel’s history. God could find no human to impart righteous judgment upon the prevailing evil during that time. All penitent Jews must have felt despair as well. The only solution then was God depending upon his own righteousness and judgment. Wrath and punishment were poured out on those who earned it. To those who repented, he became the Redeemer.
In human terms, it’s impossible for us to begin to comprehend the anguish and grief our Creator must experience in the present era as he looks at our lives. Nations and kingdoms still seem to be built on foundations of wrongdoing and injustice. Attempting to secure righteousness from a human source is totally futile. Our only hope is once again the Creator.
Justice Is on Our Side
Let us always be thankful for the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. God’s holy wrath that we deserve was poured out on his Son.
The apostle Paul summed up God’s redemptive plan so well: “He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Through Jesus Christ, God’s justice is on our side.
Dan and his wife, Karen, have two adult children and four fantastic grandchildren. They have ministered with the Croton Church of Christ near Columbus, Ohio, for more than 30 years.