Compassion and Justice

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

crucifix-2-flashREAD Isaiah 30: 1-18

Here’s a quick break down of this passage:

God rebuke’s those in Judah who looked to Egypt for deliverance
God tells them that their trust in Egypt will gain them nothing.
The Lord documents Judah’s rejection of His life giving message.
The judgment to come upon Judah for their trust in Egypt and for their rejection of His message. Judah is brought low because of their self-reliance and rejection of God’s message.
And then this right in the middle of it all…
Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

For the Lord is a God of justice: On the surface, compassion and justice seem to oppose each other. If a guilty criminal stands before the judge, he has the choice to show either compassion or justice. But God is so great, He can show both at the same time. Like on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve, God’s justice is satisfied. And at the same time, He shows compassion by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins. Only God can reconcile compassion and justice, “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26).

Psalm 111:2-9
The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. 3 His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. 4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.  6 He has declared to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

7 The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.

Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

Jesus was full of compassion and it moved him to do what He saw the Father doing.  REFER BACK TO PSALM 148:8 “The lord is gracious and FULL of compassion…”

Now to the Justice side of God…
First of all justice must be defined. A simple definition taken from the book of Romans is that justice is defined as rewarding the law abider and punishing the law breaker. The definition according to would concur with this definition it says, JUSTICE: the administering of deserved punishment or reward.

Just as much as God will reward those who diligently seek Him, He is also the punish those who outright reject the truth and stand in dreadful fear of judgment. The scriptures are clear that both are of God.

However we cannot fully understand God’s justice only using human ideas, we must view it from scripture.

Zechariah 7:8-9 says… Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute TRUE JUSTICE; show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.

Aren’t you thankful that God’s definition of Justice is to show mercy and compassion?

However, Godly justice does not allow wrong to go unpunished or undisciplined either. We also must understand the difference between punishment and discipline. God’s children are disciplined as we are told in Hebrews, while those who reject Him will one day be punished. God is just, He must reward and punish otherwise He would not truly be just. How would you feel about a judge that constantly overlooked crimes, and let criminals go? We would call that judge corrupt. God is not corrupt!

Mercy always comes before judgment, but if that mercy is rejected, judgment still has to take place to satisfy the requirement of JUSTICE.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes all of you, because you believed our testimony to you concerning Jesus.

Isaiah 30:18
“…the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

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