Devotion

Why God Must Judge

by Greg Laurie on May 11, 2015
"Say to them: 'As I live,' says the LORD God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?' "

God takes no pleasure in bringing judgment. In the New Testament we find Jesus grieving over the city of Jerusalem and weeping over her: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34).

And in Ezekiel 33, God said, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (verse 11).

Then why does God send judgment? Answer: Because He is a just God. Abraham rightly said, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). If people can flagrantly and continually break God’s laws, committing murder and perverting anything and everything that is right and good, would it be right for God to turn away and ignore it? Do you expect God to simply turn a blind eye to all injustice? Or do you expect Him to do something?

"But it is not loving to bring judgment," someone might say.

Let’s say that you were the parent of a toddler who was playing in your backyard. Suddenly a wolf comes along, and you see that wolf climb over the fence and sprint toward your toddler. What are you going to do? Are you going to run and give that wolf a big hug? No. The wolf has become your enemy because he is trying to hurt your child. Because you love that child, you hate anything that would harm the one you love.

God is saying, in effect, "I love you, and I hate this wickedness and this sin. I want you to turn away from it." God’s heart aches over our rebellion.

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Deep reflection on the fundamental Christian messages of love, compassion, charity, and self-sacrifice are part of Henry “Red” Erwin’s story, as told by his grandson, Jon Erwin .

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