When most people think of justice, they think of punishment for wrong behavior or actions. But there's another side to justice. Listen to this story and see if you can figure out what it is:
Joshua grew up in a single parent home. His mom was the hardest working person he knew. She worked two jobs and was a drill sergeant when it came to her boys' homework and chores. She taught them how to have a relationship with God and to obey His commandments. Sometimes it was hard to fit in with the other kids AND obey his mom and God. Joshua did the best he could, but one day he was put to the test.
"Come on, Joshua!" one of his buddies called. "It's time to teach that kid a lesson!" His other friend grunted in agreement, but Joshua hesitated. Sure, the kid had cheated them out of $50, but Joshua knew that his friends' way of "teaching a lesson" could be brutal. Warning bells went off in his head, but he didn't want his friends spreading the word that he was chicken.
As if reading his mind, they both started squawking like a chicken. "Okay, okay," Joshua agreed, "Let's go!" They took off down the street, laughing and plotting their revenge. Joshua felt sick to his stomach, and every step seemed harder than the last. Finally, he couldn't take it. "I can't do it, guys. Call me whatever you want, but what you want to do is wrong. I want no part of it."
He didn't wait to hear their response, though a few choice words did echo in his ears. Joshua ran home. The other boy deserved justice for cheating his friends, but he was worried about how far his friends would go. He remembered his mom quoting a verse from the Bible, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (
). When Joshua got home, he went to his room, threw himself onto his bed, and moaned, "I'll never live this down."
Well, Joshua did live it down. Actually, according to this true story - he went on to graduate school with honors, was accepted to a prestigious college, and became a very successful businessman.
What kind of justice did Joshua receive for obeying God? (
He received the blessing of a clean conscience, a clean record, and the freedom to become successful in his life.)
2 Corinthians 5:10 and how God describes His promise of bringing justice.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
- Who does God promise will receive judgment or justice? (Every individual person)
- What kind of behavior does God reward? (Good and bad thoughts, words, and actions)
Trusting in God to bring justice in His time was a lesson that served Joshua well, earning for him a just reward.
"Our just God is not primarily concerned with punishing disobedience, but with rewarding right behavior." (Bill Bright)
WHY DOES THIS MATTER:
Because God is Just, I know I will receive good rewards for living a life that is obedient to His Word.
Tell God how you feel about His just nature. Thank Him for His promise to take revenge on those that hurt us. Pray for God's strength to trust His justice and to obey His Word every day.