God Is Just

Numbers 31:1-2
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.’”

Webster defines vengeance as, “the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else.” Some synonymous would include payback, reprisal or even revenge. We seem to be fascinated with the concept of vengeance. It is the premise behind famous works of literature like; The Iliad, Hamlet and The Count of Monty Christo. It seems that the idea of paying back those who have wronged us resonates within the heart of man. This is probably due to the fact that all of us have felt wronged one time or another and wished that we were able to do something to get back at the ones who hurt us. There seems to be an innate cry in the heart of all men for what we perceive as justice. We have all heard children complain that things are not fair, and we see adults, young and old, rallying behind politicians who have stirred in them the desire to get what is theirs.

When it comes to the concept of divine vengeance it is vital to realize some very important distinctions between the judgment of God and the judgment of men. First off, the very definition is different. Instead of being a form of payback for being hurt, divine vengeance would better be seen as, “punishment inflicted in retaliation for an offense.” God does not lash out in a fit of rage, nor does He seek to get back at those who have hurt Him. Instead, God metes out perfect justice upon those who have violated His laws. Throughout Scripture we find that the vengeance of God does not come without warning and long periods of forbearance  with the rebellious ways of mankind. The Canaanites were given over four hundreds years before judgment came, Egypt received numerous plagues before the angel of death arrived, the judgments recorded in the book of Revelation are distributed in waves.  God gives every individual numerous opportunities to turn to Him before ever pouring out His wrath.

While judgement is not our favorite subject to meditate upon, it is important for us to realize there is a time coming for every individual, and for the world as a whole, when we will give an account to God for the life we lived, and the decision we made regarding His Son. There is no way to avoid that day, but there is a way to avoid the judgment. The Bible teaches that, apart from Christ, we are all under the wrath of God, but when we receive Christ, wrath is replaced with mercy. Instead of facing judgment, we can receive the free gift of eternal life. One thing we can count on is that God will be fair. If we want to avoid punishment and receive reward, we must allow Christ to take the judgment we deserve.

Pastor  Jim

 

Longsuffering 

2 Peter 3:9

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Peter writes, as the day of the Lord approaches there will be an increase in those he calls “scoffers.” A scoffer is one who shows his contempt for an idea or concept, by not only rejecting it, but mocking it, and those who believe. Peter goes on to explain, one of the signs that Christ’s return is drawing near, is an increase in those who mock Christ and Christianity.

2 Peter 3:5-6 “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.”

Their mockery does not stem from a lack of evidence, but rather as the result of removing God from their thinking. Peter states, they have willingly forgotten the God who created and sustains all things.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Instead of writing of the intense anger of God toward those who mock Him and mistreat His children, Peter supports the reason for God’s patience. Knowing the longer He waits, the more He will be mocked, and the worse things will get, God remains patient, because it is His desire for all to be saved. We know God takes it very personally when His children are mistreated; He calls us the “apple of His eye.”

We also know, He considers blaspheme to be a violation of His Holy Law. Yet, He still waits patiently for more to come to saving faith in Christ. Keep in mind, more than anything, God’s desire is for you to be in heaven. He has paved the way through the death of His Son on the cross. He has given us His Word, and sent His servants around the world with a simple message, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).”

Have you trusted your life into His hands? If not, do it now. Simply pray, “Jesus, thank you for dying for my sin, I invite you into my life and give my life to You.”

Pastor Jim