Defending Justice, Forgetting Love
Read Job 6--8
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: "How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind." Job 8:1-2
"Your words are a blustering wind." Can you imagine a counselor saying that to a suffering individual who wanted to die? Bildad did; in fact, he used the same approach in his next speech (18:2). Job had poured out his grief and was waiting to hear a sympathetic word, but his friend said that Job's speech was just so much hot air.
There is a reason for Bildad's approach: He was so concerned about defending the justice of God that he forgot the needs of his friend. While Bildad's theology was correct--God is just--his application of that theology was wrong. Bildad was looking at only one aspect of God's nature--His holiness and justice--and had forgotten His love, mercy, and goodness. Yes, "God is light" (1 John 1:5); but we must not forget that "God is love" (4:8, 16). His love is a holy love, and His holiness is exercised in love, even when He judges sin.
How are these two attributes of God reconciled? At the cross. When Jesus died for the sins of the world, the righteousness of God was vindicated, for sin was judged; but the love of God was demonstrated, for a Savior was provided. At Calvary, God was revealed as both "just and the one who justifies" (Rom. 3:26). God's law said, "The soul who sins is the one who will die" (Ezek. 18:4, 20); and God obeyed His own law in the sacrificing of His Son on the cross. In
Christ's resurrection, the grace of God triumphed over sin and death, and all who repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ will be saved (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:9-10).
Applying God's Truth:
1. What problems might people expect if they focus too much on God's justice without considering His great love?
2. What problems might people expect if they concentrate on God's love while excluding His holy justice?
3. What steps can you take to ensure that you maintain a sense of God's love and justice as you advise and console others?
Devotions for Patience and Wholeness ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.