All the Benefits of Believing (ATBOB) #5
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
Psalm 103:6 (ESV)
We pick up at verse six of this stunning psalm. Our focus now turns to righteousness and justice. Righteousness here is not moral correctness, or even right standing with God, but is a perfect pairing with justice. It refers to God’s righteous judgement. That may sound a difficult thing to face, but simply means God making things right.
The word translated as “works” here could also be translated as “executes”. We can therefore read this verse as saying “The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all the oppressed”.
Justice is an important theme throughout the Bible. God’s justice, His sense of right and wrong, are of paramount importance for us to understand – both in terms of the Gospel and how we ought to live.
Fairness is often something we struggle with. We occasionally get a sense that life is unfair, especially when hard times come. Something inside of us tells us that when something bad occurs, it just is not right! We get that sense of right and wrong, fairness and justice, from our Heavenly Father. It’s built into all of us.
While morality seems a flexible concept for some, each of us has a built in consciousness of right and wrong. That may be warped at times, but across the world there are certain things that nearly all agree are “wrong”. For instance, murder is generally outlawed, as is stealing or physical abuse.
We know these things are wrong instinctively because God made us that way.
God’s interactions with humanity is all about making wrong things right. The pinnacle of this effort was in dealing with sin once and for all in Jesus Christ. The Gospel therefore is the ultimate expression of justice. Sin was punished. Every wrong thing done against God and man was placed on the shoulders of Jesus, Who bore it on our behalf.
Justice demands action against wrongdoing. God, loving us as He does, did not want us to face the eternal consequences of sin. He fulfilled His requirements of justice by putting the Righteous One in our place. Jesus is our Substitute so we no longer face those consequences.
Justice in our everyday lives
But what about the wrong done to you? When is God going to put that right?
This is not easy to answer. If you have been mistreated, falsely accused or abused in some way, then you might be wondering what God’s justice means for you. What about the person who hurt you? They look to have gotten away with it, and you feel left behind and in pain.
Hurting people hurt people, and while that is no excuse, it does at least explain why some treat others the way they do.
God is a healer, and I believe He can heal you from the pain of your past. It may take a long time, and it will certainly be a difficult journey, but He can get you through.
God’s justice is not instantaneous and rarely is it quick. We must begin to take an eternal view of our lives. Perhaps, on this side of heaven, the hurt caused you may not be resolved, but I can assure you that God will wipe away every tear from your eye.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Revelation 21:4 (ISV)
God is a just God, and everything will come right in the end. Our part is to trust Him, which can be very tough at times. God cares about the oppressed, and those who have been hurt. He knows how it feels also – as Jesus Himself faced it all.
Take your pain to the Righteous Judge, Who will do right by you.