[June 10]--Justice In This World?

Job 21:6-17

When someone is suffering with no discernible reason, their immediate instinct is to ask “Why me?” This is especially so if they're a godly person who doesn’t have any hidden sin from which they refuse to repent. Job was too good a man to pretend to have never sinned, but he also knew without a doubt that he didn’t have any hidden rebellion or outright disobedience in his life. He thoroughly believed that he was on pretty good terms with the Lord, and he happened to be right. His questioning of God’s justice was further intensified by the obvious fact that people who were blatantly disobedient were doing quite well.

In fact, there are lots of people who are atheists--in practice if not in their profession--who seem to glide through life. They seem to be without any major problems: They're born to wealth, they're healthy through most of their lives, and they seem to get anything they want. Often they gain their wealth and power by stepping onto people who can’t defend themselves. They seemingly thumb their nose at the Lord and still go their merry way, and we never see this supposedly righteous Judge dealing with them as they deserve. There are plenty of national dictators, for example, who die in their sleep after decades of thievery and murder.

But there are a couple of things to consider. First, as someone pointed out to me a long time ago, we tend to exaggerate the wonderful lifestyle of people we don’t know. We might look at a movie star who completely indulges himself, who looks beautiful, and who makes more money in a week than most of us will in a lifetime. Everything seems to be going great for him. . .until it comes out that he’s just gone through his third divorce, or that he's entered rehab. . . again. We just don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors, but I promise you one thing: There’s no true peace outside of Jesus Christ. Why do people who seem to have it all get addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc? Because inside their soul is a God-shaped vacuum, and they’re desperately trying to fill it.

The other thing to keep in mind, which Job and other O.T. saints hinted at, and which is made clear to us under the New Covenant, is that the Almighty doesn’t settle all his accounts in this world. As the saying goes, "the mill of God’s justice grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine."  We know from passages like Rev. 20 that he'll one day call all creation to account. Every human who's ever lived will be judged by him one way or the other: Either to pay for all we’ve done, or as believers to have our sins judged at the cross.

I know that if you’re trying to be faithful to our Lord and times get really hard, it’s even more difficult to see others doing well, especially if they aren’t trying to be obedient. But please take heart. He’s watching, and he knows. And he loves you.

Lord Jesus, I trust you. Help me not to worry about how you bless other people. Please help me to focus on what’s really important—my relationship with you.

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