Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Proverbs 28:5 (NLT)                                  

"Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely."

A trip to the drug store today can leave your head spinning.  Besides the variety of medicines for specific symptoms, remedies are available in pills, capsules, syrups, chewables, even frozen pops!  And the flavors!  It couldn't be any easier to be a sick kid these days!  I remember cod liver oil, merthiolate, and one-size-fits-all cough syrup that tasted like syrup of ipecac!  Every dose of whatever insipid cure my parents were dishing out was preceded by, "You're not supposed to like it!"

Thank God for modern medicine, but justice can remain a bitter pill.  We all like seeing "the bad guys" get what they deserve, but what happens when we get what we deserve?  If we are righteous and wise, following the Lord, we will understand.

When we keep back our tithe from God and wind up on the receiving end of an unexpected repair bill, do we understand, or do we just keep back more the next Sunday?  When we reap the sorry consequences of striking out on our own, ignoring the path God has set forth before us, do we understand, or do we just press harder to get that square peg into that round hole?

No one enjoys justice; we all want to look for an alternative route.  Facing justice when you know you're deserving of it, is probably the least enjoyable experience of all.  How do you look at yourself, knowing the one who let you down was you?  Even watching someone head down the wrong path can be painful when we consider the consequences to befall them.  But we understand the need for God's justice. 

Justice brings glory to a perfect and righteous God; He cannot change, not even for a moment.  One only has to look at our country's legal system to see how flawed human justice can be.  God's justice is infallible.  So while we may be tempted to turn away, to kick and scream, it is the wise child who understands, "You're not supposed to like it!"  But those who love and follow Him, understand it.
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