Is God Just?
It was August 3, 2019, only a few days before the beginning of school. On a Saturday morning twenty-two folks went into Walmart to take advantage of the back to school sales, get groceries, and other items that all of us rush in to pick up. But this time none of them made it out alive.
A twenty-one-year-old white male, a graduate of Plano High School, drove 650 miles from Allen to El Paso. He loaded his WASR-10 rifle, and a little before 10:40 AM, Patrick Wood Crusius opened fire on the shoppers. When racist hate explodes into murderous violence like this, we get angry, and we cry “This isn’t fair. How can there be a God when injustice like this hits us nonstop?”
In the 7th century BC God’s Old Testament people asked the same questions. Philistines, Ethiopians, and Assyrians had all attacked Israel, and not only soldiers, but civilians had fallen. Israelites were tempted to argue that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob simply didn’t exist, or if he did, he doesn’t care about events on earth. Zephaniah countered arguing that God had destroyed the Philistines and Ethiopians, and that soon he would bring the Assyrian Empire to their knees because of their murder and injustice. But Zephaniah went on to stress that God doesn’t wipe out only pagan nations. Look at what the prophet has to say to Jerusalemites.
“The LORD in the midst of Jerusalem is right; he does not do any injustice. Morning after morning, like the light, his justice goes forth. He never misses a day. But the unjust know no shame. I have cut off nations; their corner fortifications are in ruins; I have decimated their streets so that no one walks in them. I’ve made their cities a wasteland, without human habitation, no one lives there. I said, Surely, you will fear me. You will accept my correction. Then your dwelling would not be cut off according to all that I’ve decreed against you. But all the more, they eagerly ruined everything by their corrupt actions.”
We can be confident. Whenever corrupt, unjust murder breaks out, it’s not God at work. God is just all the time and all the time God is just. It’s evil at the core of a murderer’s heart and it’s not just an illness. That’s why we know there needs to be a courtroom, legal proceedings, and a just verdict against Crusius, not just some counseling.
Our anger and revulsion against murder proves that we are made in God’s image and that we are not the chance product of blind, material forces. God’s justice is impartial. He will not turn a blind eye to his own people’s anger and murder. But just as God’s justice daily goes forth, so does his grace and goodness.
In Frisco this past Thursday at the Star, El Paso Eastwood and Plano football players locked arms in unity and then played a game, a game where the score wasn’t what was important. God does allow bad things to happen, but he is not the source of the badness. He is also the source of even the good moments of grace when for a few minutes El Paso and Plano united.
LORD, help us learn from how you have dealt in the past with nations and individuals where murder becomes the norm. Help us as believers to use the anger over injustice and increasing violence to help people realize that you’ve placed this sense of right at the core of their being, and then to point them further to your love and forgiveness poured out on Calvary.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!