What do you think of when you think, “God is”? The character of God is a many-sided mystery. I love to sit in God is love, but the Love of God is only one part of the whole Godhead. When God is just I struggle to accept that as part of who God is. Honestly, it’s hard to be still when I see God as anything but love.
What Does God is Just Have To Do With Being Still?
“O you sword of the Lord, How long will it be before you are quiet? Put yourself into your sheath; Rest and be still.” (Jeremiah 47:6 AMP)
Today, we see in the context of Jeremiah 47:6 that somehow two seemingly opposite concepts – being still and the fact that God is just – go hand in hand. How do these things go together? It is because of the righteousness of God that we can be still and that same righteousness requires Justice.
Be still, in our text today, is a part of another prophecy. Through Jeremiah, God foretells the fall of the Philistines. God is using Babylon to destroy Philistia in judgment along with many others.Yes, God is just to judge sin, but God is also just to forgive sin and show us mercy. God would gladly save everyone if everyone wanted to be saved but God is righteous and holy which demands God be just. Click To Tweet
Things You Should Know About The Philistines:
- The Philistines were enemies of Israel (you will remember them from the time David killed Goliath)
- As a Nation that bordered Israel, Philistia had opportunities to know God and choose to live in righteousness. They did not.
- This Nation was far from God and steeped in sin.
- Pornography, fornication, and adultery were normal practices (i).
- Unwanted babies (born from the former sin) were burned in bonfires kept for just that purpose.
I have an eerie feeling God will use this to speak into our lives as a Nation as we have many striking similarities to the Philistines.
What Does The Bible Say About God’s Justice?
Observations from Jeremiah 47:6 show a terrifying account of the fall of Philistia, and we see Jeremiah pose a question. How long will this war last? Lord, how long will you judge the Nations?
Jeremiah answers his own question. The sward of God (the wrath of God) cannot be still until it has finished its job. Justice must come when there is so much sin.
What Does It Mean By God Is Just?
Or we might ask, “what does God’s justice mean”?
When people live in sin, refusing God’s grace and mercy in favor of the pleasures of life there are consequences. The justice of God is one way we see that. The problem is that we understand justice differently than God.
The human view of justice is a punishment given in response to a crime in a reasonable timeframe. In Christianity, we understand that but know that God rarely works in our timeframe or in our view of justice.
What Does Just Mean in Christianity?
Let’s be honest, some people live their whole life in sin only to die at a ripe old age having lived a good life. Where is the justice?
We know that God judges ins. We also know that God is just to forgive sins. Justice, mercy, grace, they all play a part in the character of God but we struggle to understand this side of eternity.
The truth is, God see’s all of our actions. It goes deeper still, in that God sees the intentions of our hearts. God will work out justice in His time and in His way bearing all that He sees in mind.
God is just and the justifier of all. When we see just in the Bible or justice, we are reminded that God is the Great Judge of the Universe. I don’t know about you, but that scares me because I depend on God’s mercy and grace and am thankful that as a Christian my sins are covered.
Related: To look deeper at justice in the Bible check out this from Billy Graham on the justice of God here.
Hard Questions about the Justice of God
As we see how to apply Jeremiah 47:6 we have to ask some hard questions about the justice of God, the mercy of God and the general character of God.
Do you ever ask God hard questions?
The Bible is filled with very human heroes who asked God questions. It’s okay. I’ll share some of mine in hopes it sparks your own.
Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone?
God so loved the world. The whole world. That He sent His Only Son. That whoever believes in Him… will not perish, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16 paraphrased)
God loves us like crazy but He gives us a choice. Do you believe in God?
Most of us can admit God exists, but do you believe God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins?
Jesus died taking the eternal consequence for your sin. The punishment for my sin. He took it all to give me eternal life. But you have to choose Him. Yes, God is just to judge sin, but God is also just to forgive sin and show us mercy.
God would gladly save everyone if everyone wanted to be saved but God is righteous and holy which demands God be just.
What Is The Righteousness Of God?
God is perfect. Honestly, God is the only perfect ONE that ever could be. Well except Jesus Christ who is God… anyway. Because God is perfect, God is just and holy, God can not do wrong.
God is righteous. That is what it means that God is righteous.
We can’t stand before God with sin in our hearts. Hence the need for God to send His son Jesus Christ to take the punishment for our sin. By taking our place, we can be counted holy and escape the wrath of God that is to come.
A righteous and holy God must be a just God who must punish sin.
I sin. You sin. That puts us in direct opposition to a righteous God who is just.
Praise His name for the salvation that comes through faith in Jesus!
What Does The Wrath Of God Mean?
The wrath of God is hard to think about let alone explain. I want to see only God’s love and God’s grace and God’s mercy. But honestly, God’s mercy and justice work together.
Because God is holy there has to be a consequence for sin. But because God is love and mercy He sent His Son to take that consequence.
Still, people refuse to accept Jesus and chose to live their own way. So the wrath of God comes into our world. Scary huh? We should have a fear of God, especially if we thumb our nose at Him.
Never forget that one day we will all stand before God and give an account for our life on earth.
Praise God for His mercy that brings us the hope of salvation!
How Is God Merciful?
Mercy happens when someone can punish you but chooses to forgive and show compassion. How is God merciful? It would be just for God to punish all men for the sin we wallow in. But God is merciful as well as just and so He sent His Son to take the punishment we deserve.
Mercy is God giving us – sinful humans – the chance to accept Him and live in relationship with Him. We don’t deserve it. But it is just of God to forgive sins – because He decided it was just.
Praise God for His great love that made a way for us to have a relationship with HIM!
Does God Care About Justice?
This is such a tough question. I ask it because of a life where it seems no justice happened. No justice came when the abuse came. It makes you ask if God cares about justice. He does. Though it seems God’s justice doesn’t come when we think it should God is keeping track.
When we see injustice in the world and it seems to go unchecked. Dictators killing without reason. Racial injustice. Child abuse. Rape. Murderers walking free. Innocent unborn babies killed for the inconvenience they could cause. Infidelity. Abuse.
Injustice is a normal part of our daily lives.
And most of them seem to go unpunished.
But God sees. God will act either now or on the other side of eternity. We just have to know and trust the character of God when we don’t see Him acting to fix.
One day we will see all the injustices corrected and we will understand then. We just have to trust Him in the waiting time.
Can We Be Still When Facing the Justice of God?
There have been times God has allowed me to feel the consequences for foolish choices where I walked in willful sin because God is loving and just. There have been seasons I just had to learn the hard way.
But God, true to his character is patient and slow to anger. When the justice of God shows up in my life I am learning to trust the character of God. If He allows the consequences to come I must need the lesson they will teach.
It’s hard, but we can absolutely choose to be still when God’s justice allows hard seasons into our lives.
An Again Kind of God
How many do-overs has God given you?
That is what comes to mind when I read this passage in Jeremiah 47. God is warning the Philistines just like God warned the Israelites over and over again.
You’ve gotten off course.
You are setting other things up as idols in your life.
You’ve left your first love.
Turn back to Me while there is still time.
I can think of so many times God has sent warnings into my life. Can you see God’s warnings?
God is only ever a prayer away.
Yes, God is just and merciful as evidenced by the repeated warnings and pleadings with us to turn from sin and live under His authority.
What Warning is God Sending You Today?
Do you hear Him whispering to you?
For two years God has been warning me to stop fighting. Be still. Stop worrying. Be still. Rest. Let others help.
I’ve tried to obey (half-heartedly) but trying is not doing. Honestly, I’ve been living in my own strength and failing. I’d do much better if God gave me a to-do list but to be still… obviously, here we are so you can tell I’m failing at this miserably. Can you relate?
God is a just judge who loves us too much to let us continue to walk in the opposite direction of His will.
In love, He will allow life to get hard to get our attention. The question is will we be still long enough to listen and fix it?
A Prayer to Be still When Facing the Justice of God
Father God, Ancient of Days,
I confess that I have not been obedient to Your will. You said to rest, be still, stop fighting, trust You and wait. I made plans, became dependent on business and hustling, and allowed fear to slip in.
Now I see Your hand gently trying to get my attention. Forgive me for being too consumed in my own plans to stop and be still with You to know Your plans.
I surrender. Take this life. You said to rest so I will rest. Help me stay on Your path and trust you even though I don’t understand. I know You have a plan and I trust You. Be glorified Lord.
How do You Respond To The Justice Of God?
When God allows you to feel the sting of consequences after sin in your life, how do you respond? Like me, do you shrink back, wondering if God still loves you? Do you feel like He has abandoned you?
When God is just, we have to remember a few things in order to be still through it.
- God’s character is trustworthy and faithful.
- We can always trust God’s heart.
- God never leaves us even in justice.
- Jesus paid the consequence and we stand righteous and holy before God.
As we remember these things, it should lessen the sting we feel when hard times come. He is with us even in the consequences and praise His Name, we will not face the ultimate consequence because Jesus paid that price.
If you enjoyed this post you will love these:
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