Thursday, August 13, 2020

Is God's Judgment Fair?


One theme that the Bible clearly communicates is God’s consistency. While it is consistent in showing His remarkable display of grace through both the Old Testament and the New Testament, it also shows the consistency in which He corrects His children if they move too far away from Him. Some may call this pruning, while others call it judgment. It is not an easy topic to traverse, and due to its delicate nature, we will spend a few weeks exploring the conversation further.

The Lord’s Response
A casual reading through the word of God will allow us to find varying degrees of chastisement from the Lord as He responds to sin. We see it at the micro-level for an individual when David pridefully counts the troops at his disposal or when he commits adultery with Bathsheba. We also see it at a macro-level in the books of Judges, Isaiah, or Jeremiah, where a nation must come to terms with the effects of their sinful actions. However, we also see this at the grandest level, where the entire world finds itself experiencing the full display of the Lord’s might (such as the flood in Genesis 7 or the passing of the earth in Revelation 21). Regardless of the scale of His response, the pattern of how the Lord acts is consistent. First, we see throughout the Scriptures that God chooses grace and decides to bless humanity out of love; second, we find ourselves abusing His grace because of sin; next, God warns his people and calls us to repentance through the prophets that He appoints; finally, judgment is dispersed in an effort to bring His children back to Him and restore the relationship between God and His people.

Through Parenting, We Understand
While some may view judgment as a display of selfishness from a deity who is power hungry, it becomes rather easy to understand what the Lord is doing through the course of human history by relating His actions to how we parent and raise our own children. Without the need for our sons and daughters to first earn our favor, we train them up in the Lord, instill good values, and shower them with love and blessings. Without question, we sacrifice for our kids unconditionally. Yet as our children begin to abuse our good graces or become careless, prideful, or even hurtful, we discipline them and explain the reasons for why they are being punished. If the degree of our response reasonably correlates to the severity of their transgression, they will grow to understand that we are fair and just in our parenting, and the relationship between us and our children will not be jeopardized.

Is God's Judgment Fair?
Asking if judgment is fair is a tough question to answer. Perhaps influenced by the worldviews from which we are raised in, an individual living in the Western world may say that micro-judgment is fair, while an individual living in the Eastern world may say that macro-judgment is fair. But is it really correct to ask if it is fair to us? After all, we can only answer this question through a sin-tinted lens that was inherited from Adam and Eve. While some feel strongly that they shouldn’t be judged for the sins of others, and while others feel strongly that an individual shouldn’t be judged if the person was acting for the betterment of the group, it is only Jesus Christ who has the ability to judge with perfect fairness (John 5:22; II Timothy 4:1, 8; Jude 14-15, Revelation 5:5-7). In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for God’s “will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven,” but do we really mean it? It is when we trust in Jesus to carry out His divine appointment that we will begin to notice a shift in our prayers: rather than asking if His judgment is fair, our hearts will cry out with a kingdom-like perspective, praying for nationwide repentance, interceding on behalf of our family members and peers, and asking the Holy Spirit to continue chiseling away at our own pride and sinfulness. May God have mercy on us.

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