Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.
3a) Justice is what is morally right and fair and mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. In the United States and most of the developed world justice is administered through the nation’s government and court system. This is positive as this is what the Bible tells us to do (Romans 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:13-17) and it takes the responsibility out of the hands of the individuals where justice is much more subjective to the crime. This is negative in places where people do sin and take justice into their own hands by committing murder, etc.
Mercy is more individual with people showing mercy towards others when they have been wronged. Hence, we see this everywhere. This is positive because people are more merciful than government who have to follow the law. This is negative when people don’t show mercy.
b) Exodus says God forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. John 3 tells us God showed mercy when He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Peter says God is patient to allow everyone to repent in His mercy. I think the court system is the best system for justice man can come up with. It takes the subjectiveness and emotion out of it and puts everyone on an equal playing field by knowing the consequences of their actions BEFORE they commit the sin. And this is equivalent to God’s as well since we know the repercussions of our sins and since God tells us to submit to authorities, it’s what we do.
God’s mercy is obviously infinitely greater than man’s, but we follow Jesus’ example as best we can and show mercy to others. We can do this by sharing the gospel and showing the ultimate mercy as we try to save souls for eternity.
4) Personal Question. My answer: I have been shown the ultimate mercy by being amongst the chosen to accept Jesus as my Savior. Being born in the United States during modern times is justice to me since we do have laws that protect us and a civilized society. I am more merciful to others because of Jesus and I try to be just to others as well because of Jesus and because of what is right and wrong. Jesus is the ultimate administrator of justice and if I’ve been wronged, I give it to him to deal with.
Conclusions: Not looking forward to this lesson as we take ANOTHER break from Revelation. These are the weeks I just want to skip. This lesson has no passages to read from the Bible except in 3b. It’s all personal opinion and what is justice and mercy and where we see it in today’s world. This plays off of the last question from last week in Lesson 20, Day 5 where we were asked how can God be both love and wrathful. He loves us so much He avenges His people and punishes His people when they disobey. This is the ultimate sign of love and compassion and mercy. He could let us run amok like wild animals, killing and tearing each other to shreds. Instead, we exist for Him.
End Notes: Exodus 34:6-7 where God describes Himself is the most quoted or alluded to passage in the Old Testament. It’s a profound summary of God’s nature. He is love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and punisher. He is everything.