where is justice?

Something changed. In your past, you were religious. You did what was right, and you looked good. And no one knew the difference.

And then, unbeknownst to you, apathy began its slow and silent work. Though you would hardly admit it, you started to care less. The lives of irreligious people began to appeal. Somehow, these people seemed to breeze through life delighting in many a worldly pleasure. They didn’t go to church, and it wasn’t hurting them. As a matter of fact, they were downright wicked at times and got off scot-free. No fire from heaven. No justice. They enjoyed free, content, successful lives without God. So why go through the trouble of saying prayers, obeying God’s commands, or doing good things? God seemed just as pleased with those who didn’t.

However, you couldn’t just reject God altogether. So you decided you’d get by. You’d go to church, but you’d somehow forget to bring the contribution God deserved. Then, after you left the church building on Sunday, you’d live as you pleased the remainder of the week, perhaps putting that forgotten contribution to your own use, with no thought whatsoever for what God had said or commanded.

Really, it wasn’t all your fault. The people you respected were doing the very same thing. And these were leaders, mentors, and teachers who had demonstrated the ways of God to you. Even they had decided God’s commands weren’t really worth following. Even they no longer brought the contribution God deserved, when they should have been the ones setting the example. They gave their second best and were in no way repentant as they approached God in worship. They seemed to endorse the idea that honoring the Lord’s name wasn’t that serious a matter. Some of them even complained about what was required of them. Their task wasn’t important to them anymore. Deep down, they had concluded that serving God was pointless. If your spiritual leaders didn’t take seriously the matter of honoring God, why should you? If they decided their second best was enough, God must surely be satisfied with it. Perhaps your “half-contribution” was not so inadequate after all.

You heartily agreed with these leaders you so admired. If God was truly a God worthy of respect and service, he would show himself to be the God of justice he claimed to be. A God of justice wouldn’t let selfish, worldly people get away with their wickedness. And such a God would affirm that being religious was worth something. He would reward the good people who said their prayers, brought their tithe, and did what was right.

A God of justice would punish evil and reward good. Otherwise, he was no God worth worshiping.

But you got it all wrong.

God doesn’t simply reward good; he rewards those who truly honor and fear him. He doesn’t merely punish evil; he punishes those who fail to fear him and who don’t give honor to his name.

Want a reward? Fear the Lord.

Don’t believe it? Test it.

Think you can live a happy life and show God no honor and no fear? Test that, too. It’ll work.

Until Justice comes.

You’re asking where justice is? You simply haven’t waited long enough. Justice will come. And when he comes, there will be a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.

One will look like healing, freedom, and joy.

The other will look like burning, ashes, and waste.

And you wondered, “Where is justice?”

For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. Mal 1:14

{The above is one attempted summary of the book of Malachi. Take a half-hour to read its short four chapters for the original account. It’s far more powerful than what you just read.}

[image credit: pixabay.com, journeyoftheword.com]

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