GOD OF COMPASSION & JUSTICE
It is impossible to read even a little bit of the Bible and not encounter the compassion and the justice of God.
Sometimes people make the mistake of dividing those two characteristics of God: His compassion and His holiness—as though God is either compassionate or He is good. The truth is that God is deeply compassionate and thoroughly good.
David Seamands addresses this dynamic well in his book, Freedom from the Performance Trap: “‘But,’ someone continues to protest, ‘I don’t understand this anger of God business—it scares me.’ Maybe it will help if we ask, What is the alternative to the anger of God? The alternative is not a God of love, because…love and anger are two sides of the same coin, and you can’t have one without the other. The alternative to anger is apathy, which would mean an apathetic God who is morally neutral and indifferent to the outcome of the battle between good and evil. That would make him a God who sits on the moral fence of the world and says, ‘I don’t care what happens to them. Let them sin if they want to, that’s their business. I’m not going to interfere in their lives.’ So whenever the biblical picture of a holy God who get angry about sin seems old-fashioned and frightening, try to imagine something a whole lot scarier—an apathetic God who doesn’t care. Imagine what it would be like to live in a world like ours if God were personally indifferent and morally neutral. That would be a terrifying nightmare.” (p. 76)
Over and over again, Scripture makes it clear that whoever would seek to be a follower of God cannot be “personally indifferent and morally neutral” to what is going on in this world but is to follow God in His blend of compassion and justice.
Listen to how Ezekiel 22:29-31 expresses this challenge to us:
“The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. I looked for a person among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out My wrath on them and consume them with My fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”
God is neither personally indifferent nor morally neutral. Thus He is looking for people who will stand before Him in the gap, praying for His compassion and justice to prevail; He is looking for people who will stand before Him in the gap doing what we can to bring His compassion and justice to the world around us.
Will we follow Him in this…or not?