Shall not God do right?
By Don Ruhl
Acquaint yourself with God. Your life will never be the same. For one thing, you will learn that He always does what is right. Sometimes you may wonder whether He has done what is right or will He do what is right, but you can count on the fact that the Judge of all the earth does what is right. If you do not see it initially, you will see it later.
This we know as the justice of God. The fact that He always does what is right means you can hang your life upon His justice.
Genesis 18.25 The God of Justice Does What Is Right
The Lord asked two angels—in the presence of Abraham—whether the Lord should hide from Abraham what the Lord was about to do. Then He spoke to the angels—again with Abraham listening—that the sin of Sodom had become very grave. Therefore, by the angels the Lord would see whether it was truly as wicked as the outcry had been.
The two angels then left the Lord and Abraham, and the two engaged in a conversation. Abraham knew from both the Lord’s words and from things he had heard, that Sodom was exceedingly wicked to the point that the Lord had determined to destroy it.
Abraham also knew that his nephew Lot, his wife, and children lived in Sodom. Would the Lord wipe out even the few righteous people who lived there? Abraham could not imagine such a scenario. The Lord would not kill the righteous among the wicked as though no difference existed between the two.
There were reasons for being righteous, one of which was to be separate from the wicked when the time for punishment came.
Therefore, Abraham approached the Lord boldly and reasoned with Him. Abraham believed that it did not fit the Lord’s nature and character to slay the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous and the wicked were the same (Gen 18.23–25). Twice Abraham said that such was far from the Lord!
What made Abraham reason like that? He believed that the Judge of all the earth did what was right. What is a judge for? Does not a judge reward the righteous and punish the evildoers? God is the Judge of all judges. Human judges take into account how people live or do not live. The Judge over all judges should distinguish between the righteous and the wicked.
Abraham knew of the Justice of God. Since He is a just God, He blesses the righteous and He curses the wicked, because He knows the difference between the two.
Abraham knew God’s justice without a written Bible. He did not know Moses. He did not know the prophets. He did not know Jesus. He did not know the apostles. Either God had taught Abraham about judgment, or Abraham had also reasoned that the Creator would act in certain ways and would not act in other ways.
The last that Abraham had heard and seen in his nephew Lot and his family, Abraham saw righteous people. What he knew of them, he knew that they were nothing like the Sodomites.
He knew that God’s justice would spare Lot’s family from the fate planned for Sodom. Abraham was correct.
First, you see that Abraham was correct when God stated He would not destroy Sodom and its surrounding cities, if fifty righteous people could be found there. Abraham continued to intercede for the righteous of Sodom until he and the Lord agreed that the city would be spared if ten righteous people could be found there.
Second, you see that Abraham was correct, because the Lord—through the angels—literally took the hands of Lot, his wife, and two daughters, led them out of the city, telling them where to flee, because the angels could not rain down fire and brimstone until the righteous had been separated from the wicked.
Our God is a just God. Praise the Lord that He knows who belongs to Him and who does not belong to Him! “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2Ti 2.19).
Second Timothy 2.19 is based upon Ezekiel 9 where the Lord put a mark upon the righteous and spared them from the destruction coming upon the city.
Second Thessalonians 1 declares a similar truth, that God deals righteously with the persecutors and the persecuted, that is, He does not treat them the same.
If you walk with Jesus, you have nothing to fear, for when the time of the Second Coming of Christ arrives, Paul showed that the Lord will make a distinction between the afflicted and the afflicters just like at Sodom, “…since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels…” (2Th 1.6, 7). God will trouble those who trouble us, and He will give us rest who are troubled.
Deuteronomy 32.4 All God’s Ways Are Justice
Moses wrote Deuteronomy 32 at the end of his life. Forty years earlier he dealt with the stubborn Pharaoh of Egypt. The next forty years, he dealt with the stubborn Israelites in the wilderness. After those experiences, Moses wrote,
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.”
Moses saw the truth of what he wrote. He saw it against Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He saw it in the wilderness with Israel. God is like a rock. He is the same. He never changes. Why? All His ways are justice. You can count on the fact that whatever He does, He does the right thing!
If He punished the wicked then, He will punish the wicked now or at the Judgment. If He blessed the righteous then, He will bless the righteous now or at the Judgment.
Psalm 89.14 The Foundation of God’s Throne
The Scriptures declare,
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Mercy and truth go before Your face.
A throne does not float in the air, but sits upon something. It does not sit on the floor, but upon a platform that raises it above the floor. What is the platform that raises the throne of God? The psalmist said that the foundation of the throne of God consists of righteousness and justice. The throne of God sits on spiritual qualities. It does not sit upon concrete or marble.
His throne does not depend upon: voting, genealogy, popular opinion, the news media, the church, America’s prosperity or adversity, war, but His own righteousness and justice, which are as eternal as He is.
Let us worship our magnificent God, for it will turn out to our salvation both now and later.
Let us build our lives upon His justice, because He will take care of us and deal with those who hurt us.
Let us not fear, knowing that God keeps His promises of reward for those who follow Him.
When you confess that Jesus is Lord, you confess that He is just.
Do you believe that?