And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”
In light of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, I have come to learn that what is lacking in the body of Christ is not a new perspective on the matter, but a call for an alignment with the heart of God and his purposes on the earth.
Many Christians struggle to understand these events in light of the God they worship. They have been taught that “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love,” yet they have no answer to these events to which their hearts can align. After all, when is the last time you heard in worship service the declaration made in that passage in Revelation, “Just and true are your judgments”?
As a matter of fact, you don’t. It is because our hearts are aligned with the God of love and mercy, but not with the God of justice and judgment, who sends those who are not written in the book of life into the lake of fire.
And as a result, our hearts are offended when we read the news about the natural disasters seen in our day.
“Why would God do such a thing?”
“Who else causes natural disasters but God?”
“Why would God kill all those innocent people?”
“Doesn’t God care about his children?”
Most of these questions that come from the heart of a Christian are coming from a spirit of offense. It is the same offense that the Pharisees had when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. When He went into the temple and flipped tables and drove the money changers out. And for this reason Jesus says in Matthew 11:6 “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Are we offended at God when we see these things? Do we have an offensive spirit in us when we think about these things?
If we are, understand that we are offended because we have an incomplete picture of God. Our hearts cannot position to that which we do not understand. We like God but don’t love Him.
But perhaps we can understand if we ask the right questions.
What is the difference between Haiti and where we live? What if an earthquake occurred in Chicago and, like Haiti, 200,000 people died? Where families, nursing mothers, children, politicians, doctors, grocery store owners perished in a single hour? What is particular about our city or our neighbor’s city that God has not chosen in his wisdom to allow these things to happen to us…?
Here is the truth of the matter:
The reason why any other city is has not perished is because of the mercy of God and His mercy alone.
The reason why the world continues for another hour as it does is so that mankind has yet another hour to repent and to call upon His name! The reason why the sun shines on both the unrighteous and righteous is so that all may see the goodness of God and come to know Him! The reason why the earthquake came, why the tsunami came, why the famine came, and why the hurricane came is because God is just and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
People that don’t understand why people in this place or that place deserved to die is because they don’t understand that the wages of sin is death! Who is so righteous on earth as to be spared from death, whether that be in old age or in an earthquake? As Isaiah says, “All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags,” filthy rags to be thrown away.
Brothers and sisters, consider this:
How precious now is the blood of Christ? How gracious for God to send his one and only Son into the world so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but has everlasting life? How just is God when he responded to Lot’s accusation of “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” with “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake”?
You see, Jesus is the God of justice- administering judgment on the unrighteous and giving eternal life to the sons of Abraham, the sons of the promise. So that His offspring would outnumber the sand on the seashore, outnumbering the stars in the sky, each one of them shining brightly as His trophies of grace.
Yes Oh Lord, you are the God of love.
Yes Oh Lord, we are not offended by your plans on the earth.
Yes Oh Lord, we now align our hearts with yours and say, “Just and true are your judgments oh God!”
Yes, just and true are your ways!