[September 17, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Is God Just?

By Allison Antrim

My husband and I have close friends who are atheists. If we hang out with them for long enough, at some point, conversation inevitably turns to our belief in God. One of them often brings up examples of injustice as evidence that God is either not real or is unjust himself. You’ve probably heard others make a similar argument, and you may have even thought it yourself. I have definitely thought to myself that if God were just, wouldn’t his justice prevail over injustice?

Habakkuk shows us that God’s justice may not always show up in a way that makes sense to us, but it will arrive when it needs to and it will fulfill his purpose. When Habakkuk pours out his complaint before God about all the injustice he sees around him, God shows up to answer with a prophecy: he will send the Babylonians, one of the most powerful and ruthless peoples in history, to conquer Judah. God goes on to assure Habakkuk that woe awaits the Babylonians for all the evil they commit. Although it may not seem like it, God was, is, and will be in control. And ultimately, this assurance of God’s control leads Habakkuk to commit to patiently wait for God’s prophecy to be fulfilled. The book of Habakkuk ends with what I think are some of the most poignant and heartfelt words in the entire Bible:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights.

In other words, though suffering and difficulty may be in store for us while we wait for God to act, if we are patient and trust in him, he will lift us up out of the mire of our thoughts and feelings to let us see our situation from a greater height.

I think back to my question from earlier: If God was just, wouldn’t his justice prevail? According to the Bible, it already has. As Paul wrote, "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:25-26). All that’s left for us to do is trust in the ultimate satisfaction of justice fulfilled by Jesus’ death for our sins, and wait patiently for him to act in the injustice we experience right now.

Where do you currently see injustice in your life or the lives of others? As you wait for God to act, what can you do to cultivate patience and trust in him?


[Monday, September 18]

Psalm 11:7, 89:14

Both of these psalms declare that God is righteous and just. These attributes are important enough that they are described as being the foundation of his heavenly throne. People who are upright will see his face and experience the love and faithfulness that goes before him. Why is it important that God be righteous and just? What does it take to be “upright” before him?


[Tuesday, September 19]

Habakkuk 1:2-4

In just 3 verses, Habakkuk asks God 4 questions regarding the violence, injustice, wrongdoing, destruction, strife, and conflict he sees as everyday occurrences. It’s easy to read his words and apply them to our own time; not much has changed in 2400 years when it comes to observable injustice and the perceived silence of God. Yet Habakkuk still pours out his complaint before God. Perhaps he still believes God will listen to him. What injustice do you currently see before you? What happens when you pray about it? What will you do while you wait for God to make things right?


[Wednesday, September 20]

Habakkuk 2:1-3

What appeared to be God’s silence is broken. Yet in his answer, God doesn’t provide specific answers to Habakkuk’s questions. Instead, he tells Habakkuk that a revelation is coming, one clear enough to be written down and shared with others. It won’t be proven wrong, and though it may take a while (almost certainly longer than Habakkuk would want), it will arrive precisely when God wants it to. What does God’s answer in verses 2-3 reveal about his character? What comfort or peace could you draw from this passage as you wait for God to correct injustice? 


[Thursday, September 21]

Habakkuk 3:16-20

These heartfelt statements by Habakkuk are some of the most well-known from this little book of the Bible. He agrees to believe God that the prophecy regarding the Babylonians will come true at the right time. He even states that he will choose to rejoice and have joy in the Lord despite abject poverty and hunger. What truths about God might embolden Habakkuk – and us – to be able to face such challenges with joy? How can you ask God to help you get and hold on to joy that can outlast suffering?


[Friday, September 22]

Romans 3:25-26

Paul explains that justice has been served because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The shedding of his sinless blood established his righteousness and made it possible for him to not only be just, but to justify before God those who believe in him. The Greek word for “just” means innocent and holy. If you believe in Jesus, when God looks at you, he sees someone innocent and holy. What impact does that have on you? What difference will this knowledge make as you go about your life this week? 


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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