And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. —Revelation 16:7
You sometimes hear it said, “Justice requires God to do this.” I’ve probably used this expression myself, though it is semantically improper. The human language staggers when we try to use it to describe God. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New put such pressure on language that words groan and squeak under the effort to tell the story. We must remember that justice is not something outside of God to which God must conform. Nothing ever requires God to do anything. If you have a god who is required to do anything, then you have a weak god who has to bow his neck to some yoke and yield himself to pressure from the outside. Then justice is bigger than God. But that is to think wrongly.
All God’s reasons for doing anything lie inside of God. They do not lie outside of God to be brought to bear upon Him. They lie inside of God—that is, they are what God is. And God’s reasons for doing what He does spring out of what God is….
God is justice, and God will always act justly—not by compulsion from the outside but because that’s the way He is Himself. Justice must always prevail because God is the sovereign God who will always prevail.
Lord, may we remember that You are not compelled to do anything, but that You will always be fair because You are justice itself. Amen.