Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kind Justice

Some of you may have seen this story in the news recently.

 As I saw the video and read the story  , my thoughts led me to realize how often man will judge rightly on one level but question God's judgement on another.

I believe the reaction of most people to the story would include the following:
1.  to feel a love/appreciation for the cat!  As I said to my husband after seeing the story ..."That cat just bought himself life-insurance to live out his life in luxury!"
2. to feel sorry for the little boy...  who was  not only physically hurt, but  also had his sense of security and safety stolen from him.
3. to hope that justice will be done by the dog being put down (as it was)  The risk of the dog repeating his aggression against a child is simply too high !   What an animal does once will most probably be repeated.

If someone took the side of the dog, we would most certainly be aghast.   We might wonder why this dog would have this aggressive trait, and we might regret that he does,  but we would not be willing to give the dog another chance to harm another child.   The balancing scales of  justice would definitely dip on the weightier side of a child over an aggressive dog.
 Euthanizing the dog is justice --  protecting (preventing)  further victims is kind.

If the aggressive dog in our story was brought to trial by his 'peers' how would his lawyer plead his case?   Not guilty ?  Temporary insanity ?   A dog doing what comes naturally?   Every dog deserves a second chance?    Euthanasia a cruel and unusual punishment?

Many people see God in the Old Testament as a  God that advocated violence.
Is that really the true perspective?
In the fantasized court room described above where is the determining focus ?  On the innocent victim or on the one who is without question  guilty ?
On the guilty one, is it not ?

Are we often guilty of the same ?    We judge according to our own perspective and inclinations -  judging according to our own sinful nature, looking for reasons to excuse ourselves,  rather than focusing on God's wiser and infinitely greater sense of  righteous justice.
We consider ourselves good judges of what is right concerning the aggressive dog and would never accept the arguments of the dog-court ruled by  self-judgement,  and yet, how often do we question God's judgements?

There is a verse that so aptly describes God's heart intent  as He laid out Moses'  law that was to govern His nation of people.
1Ti 1:5  "Now the purpose of the commandment is love......."   
This purpose/character trait of God is echoed in Jesus words when He said that loving God and your neighbour was what the whole law was built  on ... Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." 
Paul  grasped the concept and repeated it here... Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 

God, as the Creator of man understands the heart/thoughts/ways of man and can make the judgements that will protect His people  but will also provide a strong deterrent for those who need boundaries to keep them from actions that would hurt , not only others, but themselves as well.
He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but He will not risk the innocent for the sake of the guilty. He will never allow room for evil to grow to where it destroys  the good.
While we tend to stand in the 'here and now'  and judge according to our own selfish inclinations ,  God looks down the corridor of time and sees the far reaching consequences of man's actions and He judges  in favour of the ones whose hearts are open to Him .  Obedience to His commandments will ensure  that those who love Him will  live in safety under the blessings He desires to pour out upon them. Free will allows also for disobedience that God must deal with for the sake of the obedient.

Next time you read a story in your bible that speaks of God's judgement and you are tempted to think it harsh, - stop and consider --  examine it from God's perspective and find God's intent of 'kindness' in His  righteous judgements on those who have made wicked, willful  choices to disobey God's law of love.


Anneliese said...

I had heard of that story of the cat going after the dog. Quite something! While justice is something we all desire it is not always clear cut is it? It is good to know that God sees the intents of the heart and able to judge rightly. Trusting in His timing is hard at times, but one day we will see and understand.

Kathy said...

God's justice comes from His amazing love for us. Not always easy to understand and accept, and yet as we follow Him we come to trust by faith.