The names of God #8: The Judge of all the earth
Scripture: Genesis 18:25
Once more we return to the life of the friend of God to learn of another name by which God is known.
Justice is an intrinsic aspect of the identity of God. He has from the beginning revealed Himself in the role of the lawgiver. Cp Gen 2:16-17. Even before fuller revelation of specific details of His laws had not taken place, Divine justice prevailed. Cp Rom 5:14.
In Abraham’s experience of God at this time, he learned something of the just character of God and gives evidence of how a right view of that character will impact the life of the pilgrim child of God. Cp James 5:9.
I HE SAW GOD AS THE DIVINE ARBITER OF RIGHT AND WRONG.
- Justice. He saw God as the embodiment of justice. The ultimate definition of justice is the person of God. Cp Deut 32:4, Ps 89:14, Rev 15:3. In these days the term ‘justice’ is often perverted. He is to be recognized as the great lawgiver, the ultimate supreme court in all things. Law determines the nature of sin and righteousness. It is the definition of these matters. Cp 1Jn 3:4, Rom 3:20.
- All men are subject to the judicial authority of God.
- This is true in life. There is a case in point here where the lives of the men of Sodom are under review. Cp Ecc 12:14, Matt 12:36. Men who defy Him and His laws are still subject to them!
- It is true in death and eternity. Cp Heb 9:27, 2Co 5:10, Rev 20:11-12.
- Divine justice is active. Abraham was acutely aware of this. The Judge shall do right/justice. The law of God is not a dead letter. It actively condemns or justifies every act of every man. The whole being of God is behind every jot and tittle of His statutes. Though not quick to mark iniquity, He is sure in the administration of His justice. In this incident He has come down to examine and act against the cities of the plain. There will be times when we are tempted to think that God has forgotten to be just.
II IN HIS HANDS RESTS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED.
- Abraham does not dispute that right. Nowhere here does Abraham argue against the sentence of God on the wicked. He sees no injustice in that. Often an ignorant sentimentality objects to the justice of God.
- Divine justice calls for the ruin of wicked men. Divine law attaches a penalty to sin and that penalty must be carried through. Cp Ezek 18:4, Rom 5:12, 19, 6:23 etc. The sentence of death has been determined by sovereign Divine justice. It entails spiritual, physical and eternal death.
- Justice is not impervious to mercy. Justice and mercy work together in harmony in God. Abraham’s purpose here was to pray for the sparing of the city. The Lord shows His readiness to suspend the imminent execution of wrath in order to show mercy in answer to prayer. This view of God is a powerful incentive to pray! Cp Hab 3:2
III THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD PREVENTS THE RUIN OF THE RIGHTEOUS WITH THE WICKED.
- The same justice that condemns the wicked justifies the righteous. God does not pervert justice to discriminate between the righteous and the wicked. The forensic nature of Christ’s work of redemption and salvation must be understood. Cp Rom 3:26, 5:1, 1Jn 1:7-9.
- Divine justice spares the righteous from exposure to the wrath which his the lot of the wicked. This concept lies at the heart of Abraham’s prayer. Cp Eph 2:4—the past experience of the Christian. Though God’s people experience His displeasure at their disobedience, it is never wrath.
- This wonderful security is because the justice of God is administered by the Redeemer. Cp v1-3, John 5:22.