Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Mercy and Justice

"I will sing of mercy and justice;
To You, O LORD, I will sing praises."
(Psalm 101:1)
Here is God's mercy and here is His justice. They are both needful things, but notice that God's mercy comes first.

This mercy is the Hebrew word hesed. It is the covenant faithfulness of God, the love by which He has committed Himself to His people. Its counterpart in the New Testament is agape, the divine love of God.

The justice of God is that by which He sets things right. It is a word of restoration, and it is a good thing. Where the innocent are being oppressed, harassed and distressed by the wicked, it is the justice of God that comes that brings the wickedness of the wicked to an end. If God does not do that at some point, the innocent will suffer in perpetuity. Thank God for His justice.

And thank God for His mercy, for He will come by mercy to all who will receive it, who will repent and turn to Him and call on His name. My prayer is that God will bring the wicked to repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ. But if they will not come, if they will not receive the grace, mercy and love of God, then I pray that God will bring them to judgment — to set things right so that the righteous and the innocent be no more ground under the heel of the wicked.

The day of judgment must come, and let us be in agreement with it. But let us first be in agreement with the hesed, the faithful mercy of God.