An attribute is a quality or characteristic for which a person is known. We're going to explore several attributes of God over the next few weeks. I'm glad you're joining us!
What does it mean to say God is “just”? Merriam-Webster defines just as: Acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good. Righteous. It is also defined as: Being what is called for by accepted standards of right and wrong.
You could replace just with: competent, fair, right, warranted, upright, virtuous, honorable, dependable, equitable, nonpartisan, ethical, and blameless.
All these words describe our God. He is the epitome of morally upright. He is perfectly righteous. He is completely competent, always right, totally virtuous, fully honorable, dependable, equitable, nonpartisan, ethical, and blameless. All the time.
Understanding this concept is difficult for us as humans, because while humans can be just at times, they’re not just all the time in every situation. It’s not an intentional thing, we’re just fallible and put on our “just” rather than it being one of our characteristics. God cannot be swayed away from being completely honest, just, and fair by anything or anyone, we can.
Moses wrote, “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” I love these words! As I said above, God cannot be swayed, much like an enormous rock. (Yes, I know that landslides, erosion, and quakes can move big rocks, but work with me here.)
Opinions and cultural norms are like winds that shift this way and that, but God is not moved by them. Humans change. We are intrinsically flawed and ungodly until we are surrendered to God. Even then, our humanity leads us to bend and shift with new thoughts and trends. Our ideas of justice fluctuate with the changes of new morality and new definitions of what is right and wrong.
Because God is perfectly just, we can trust in Him completely. We know that today, tomorrow, and every other day, in every situation, He will judge us based on the exact same measure He has used since He created mankind.
Oh, I know, sometimes that measure seems harsh, unyielding, antiquated, and irrelevant. That’s because we humans have moved so far from God’s definition of right, fair, and just, that we don’t recognize them as right, fair, or just. Those ways of His may seem irrelevant to us, but they are relevant to God. They are not quaint and antiquated notions, they are His eternal edicts, and we don’t get to change them.
If anything needs to be changed about this understanding of fair and just, it is us. May God forgive us for remaking Him in an image we prefer.
Allow me to ask, would you prefer a God in whom you can trust, knowing that He doesn’t change or would you want one who is a mercurial as the human you see in the mirror?
It’s time for us to recognize that God IS the Rock, that His deeds ARE perfect, that everything He does IS just and fair, that He IS the faithful God who does NO wrong, and act accordingly. It’s time for us as believers to declare with Moses, “How just and upright He is!”
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