Miller Jamison attended a family gathering at his mom’s. She was making her famous macaroni and cheese, and nothing could keep him away from his mother’s macaroni and cheese. His grandmother was visiting, and the house was packed with friends and family. When Miller walked through the door, his grandmother was ecstatic to see her grandson. Beaming with excitement, she jumped up from her chair, grabbed him close and gave him a big ol’ hug. Miller was happy to see her too, but her presence reminded him that his grandfather wasn’t there. It conjured up hurtful feelings that have been the most painful of any Miller has ever experienced in his life.
He had intended to focus only on how great it would be to eat good food and to see his grandmother and everyone else. He thought he had managed to put the anger about the death of his grandfather far away from his mind, at least enough to enjoy a good meal with his grandmother, who he hadn’t seen in months. It was not to be. The man that had caused his grandfather’s death was never prosecuted. His mother told Miller repeatedly to leave it in the Lord’s hands, but he had turned his back on faith, and continues to carry both rage and grief over his grandfather’s death. He’s not sleeping through the night, and at times he’s short tempered and easily agitated. His grandfather was a gentle soul, and for many people, he was a bedrock of strength and wisdom. Miller didn’t understand God’s justice, and he blamed God for not preventing the death of the best person he had ever known.
In the Old Testament, God said in Jeremiah 9:23-24(NLT), “23 Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
In verse 23, God checks those who were walking around feeling superior over their own wisdom, power, and wealth. We probably see far more of this today than those that were living during biblical days. Humanity has advanced to a degree that probably far exceeds the imagination and expectation of most. There’s no doubt that there are very smart people in our world and they’re doing remarkable things, but God tells us that this is no reason to boast. There’s only one thing that anyone should brag and boast about, and it is that they know our almighty and powerful God.
He wants us to know Him. He tells us in verse 24 of this passage that He wants us to understand who He is and what He loves. He is our Heavenly Father, and He demonstrates unfailing love, the kind of love that never wavers. He brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and this is a truth that needs to marinate in our brain cells. Without God bringing justice and righteousness, there would be none. History has proven what happens when people turn their backs on God’s Word and refuse to abide in His righteousness. They do unthinkably evil things, and we’ve witnessed incredible tragedies by the hands of people that crave power and wealth and will stop at nothing to have those things. We might think God turns a blind eye to this, but that is never the case.
In Isaiah 55:9(NLT), God said, “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours that we can’t define or calculate the difference.Without God’s intervention, and left to our own devices, we would see things from an extremely narrow perspective. Our vision is exponentially limited, but God sees the entire picture. We must trust Him and His justice, because God knows the past, present, and future. Miller wanted vengeance for his grandfather’s death, but he knew his grandfather would never have wanted that. He didn’t want to cause his grandmother and mother any more pain, but Miller felt trapped by his emotions and circumstances, and it was eating him up inside.
Quite often, deep pain and anger are rooted in a person’s refusal to accept that life is out of their control. This is what vengeance is about. It’s an extreme need to punish for a wrong in a way that makes us feel in control. Vengeance never achieves its intended purpose. Romans 12:19(ESV), “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” God’s justice is righteous, and vengeance belongs to Him alone. We must have faith that He will take care of those who do wrong.
There are only two choices we can make in life. We can trust God and have faith in His Word, or we can choose to live and operate outside of faith in God. Choosing against faith is the equivalent of fear. It’s trusting our own devices rather than trusting God, and this is never a winning strategy. The choice regarding faith or fear is completely and utterly left to us. God will not force us to choose His love, just as He will not stop people when they make the choice to do things that He doesn’t like. We get to choose who we are going to be. We can live a life without loving God, or we can choose to love Him. If we choose to love God, we must have faith in Him, because Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we can’t please God without faith.
Faith is always the answer for any heaviness we endure in life. We are not in control, and this is a reality that faith demands we accept. God is the One with the master plan, and nothing is too big for Him to solve. He told His people in Exodus 15:26 (NLT), “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.”
God takes care of everything. We should trust this even when we do not understand how He moves. We couldn’t possibly know all that God is doing, but He commands that we focus our hearts and minds on His goodness. We can’t do this if we are consumed with anger and rage. Psalm 7:11(ESV) says, “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” God is angry with the wicked every day, but He is also an extremely patient God. He’s patient with us, and He is patient with those who do not follow Him. He wants us to know this so that we are confident in His goodness.
God requires us to be imitators of Him. We are to be patient and have faith in His judgment, because His judgment is never wrong. Through God’s righteous judgment, He demonstrates that His timing is divine and perfect. No one gets away with anything, and on this we can depend. We will all reap what we sow. Our God is just and righteous, and both belong to Him. He delights in them. So, we must reject fear and the desire for vengeance and place our faith in the perfection of God’s sovereignty and rule. When we surrender totally to Him in this way, He will comfort our hearts through His Spirit, and replace our anger with His peace. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“God Loves Justice”, written for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2023. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!