the art of justice

It is not for me to speak for God, therefore, I look into his word to let him speak for himself. 

An official White House report came out within the last 48 hours that estimates between 100,000-240,000 people will die in the United States within the next three weeks due to COVID-19.


I am as tired of seeing Coronavirus posts as anyone, but God has been placing a few things on my heart recently that need to be said.


One of my very first blog posts was titled “What do you think of God?” I didn’t know when I was writing it a few months ago that God would be asking us this question shortly. 


The pandemic we face today is significant and deadly.


The hill we still have yet to climb is mounting and seems to become steeper each day. Lives are being lost every minute, and now our very back yard is the front line of the war being fought.


It’s often difficult to see how large your opponent is until he is standing right in front of you.


A few weeks ago, the situation seemed so far away. Today, I have close friends and relatives suffering from COVID-19. Now, it’s personal.


One resounding message that’s been placed on my heart is this:


The size of our prayers is a reflection of how big God is to us. 


How big are you praying?


Scripture says in Genesis 1 that God created the entire universe and everything in it. Whether you believe it or not, but the fact of the matter is that God either created the universe and everything in it, or he didn’t. 

Please hear me on this one.


If God did not create the universe and everything in it, there is nothing he can do. 


There is no battle that you could not win as well as he could. There is no virus that he could stop any quicker than you could. There is no prayer that he could answer any easier than you could answer your own.


But if God did create the universe and everything in it, there is nothing He cannot do. 


There is no battle he cannot win. There is no virus he cannot stop. There is no prayer that he cannot answer.


Ask yourself:

Do you pray to the God who created the universe and everything in it?

Do you pray like your God created the universe and everything in it?

Are you asking this God for things that only He can accomplish?


Because if you aren’t, you aren’t praying big enough.

 

I have a hard time accepting people who sugarcoat God.


Through the past couple of months, I have seen many people and pastors alike shy away from answering a question:


"Does God cause things like this to happen?"


This question has been at the forefront of billions of minds throughout the centuries when catastrophic events have taken the world by storm. Whether natural disaster, plague, famine, drought, or any other major event, everyone wants to know if God is to blame. 


It is not for me to speak for God, therefore, I look into his word to let him speak for himself. 


I recently studied the life of Moses. Moses’s life is one of my favorites in the Bible because it is action-packed and full of legendary stories. While known for many things, Moses is arguably best known for leading the Nation of Israel on an exodus out of Egypt.


Freedom was only made possible through the ten horrific plagues sent upon Egypt that caused Pharaoh to release the Israelites from captivity. 

I have a hard time accepting people who sugarcoat God.

God turned water to blood, sent frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, caused boils, rained hail and locusts down, covered the land in darkness and eventually killed the firstborn children of the Egyptians on Passover night.


All of this to fulfill His will of rescuing His people from captivity in Egypt. 


This seems cruel, doesn’t it?


Why would you want to serve a God who causes plagues, disasters, darkness, and death?

God should be good. He should be love all the time! God can’t be evil! 


Right?


Patrick Morley said it best...There is a God we want and there is the God who is.


We must understand that there is a God who is good and there is a God who is just. 

There is a God we’re looking for and there is a God we need.


We created this first God. The second God created us. It’s time for us to trade in the first for the second. The created for the creator.

Whether natural disaster, plague, famine, drought, or any other major event, everyone wants to know if God is to blame. 

Who are we to label God’s decisions good or bad? What justice do we know other than the mercy that we have received from him since the beginning of our creation as a human race.


The beauty of the Gospel is the delicate balance of mercy and grace. Mercy sparing us from the wrath we deserve and grace providing us with blessings we don’t deserve.


We will never understand the justice of God while we reside on this Earth, so why do we continue to ask for a “good” God? Let us seek the God who is. That God is just, and his will is ultimately for His good.


We don’t need goodness. We need justice. 

It is not for me to speak for God, therefore, I look into his word to let him speak for himself. 

What caused God to send the plagues on Egypt was His will to bring justice by rescuing his people from slavery. This is where we must consider if God is using this pandemic to somehow rescue us from our own forms of captivity.


Whether it is slavery to sin, our jobs, our desires, our money, or something else, God has already proven to us that He is willing to go to great lengths to free His people from bondage.


Is this another Exodus?

God is and has always been asking us to turn from our ways to follow after His.

While I cannot definitively answer whether God is to “blame” for the pandemic sweeping the world right now, I can definitively say that he is using it for His good and for the saving of many lives. 


“The saving of many lives?” You say. “Millions could die from this before it’s over.”


I am fully aware. Tens of thousands already have. But while we are all so focused on the mortal, God is and has always been focused on the eternal. Don’t believe me? Ask Joseph.


Joseph’s own brothers nearly killed him before selling him into slavery. He was hauled off to Egypt, made a servant, accused of rape, imprisoned, and completely forgotten by fellow prisoners who he helped to release.


After interpreting Pharaoh’s dream accurately, Joseph became the second most powerful man in Egypt (as a non-Egyptian, God-fearing Israelite nonetheless), and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives by stockpiling and rationing resources for future use after God gave him a vision of severe famine to come.


But it was only through the unfortunate and cruel circumstances of Joseph’s one mortal life that God was able to save many lives eternally.

Is this another Exodus?

I mourn the loss of each and every life lost thus far, as I am sure you do as well. But what we must not miss is the fact that God would trade one life here on Earth to win everlasting lives of many others any day of the week. God uses mortal death to bring about everlasting life.


Don’t believe me? Ask Jesus.


Or Noah, Jonah, Nehemiah, the Apostles or Paul. 


I will never know how many lives will be affected by the loss of one of my loved ones, but that doesn’t make it sting any less when they go.


But while it might be difficult for us to understand the taking of a life here on Earth, we must rest in the fact that we cannot see the overall blueprint of God’s perfect will. 

God would trade one life here on Earth to win everlasting lives of many others any day of the week.

I don’t know his will. But if reading scripture proves one thing, it is there is always purpose behind the circumstances and there is always a call to action.


While the circumstances associated with God’s will change, it is hard to deny that the call to action is and has always been the same throughout history.


Whether it be a great flood, generations enslaved in Egypt, horrific plagues, centuries of war, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a cross, or the rapture to come, God is and has always been asking us to turn from our ways to follow after His.

How big are we praying?

He has made a promise to us, and it is our turn to respond. He is chasing after us desiring to give us what he knows is best. He is going to great lengths to draw our attention to the severity of our brokenness. God is standing at the door with his arms wide open.


Will fear, sickness, captivity and death be our calling cards? Or will we trade those in for peace, strength, freedom, and life everlasting?


I believe this is our finest hour.


Abundantly,


hw


“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

2 Chronicles 7:14