|INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDIES|
LESSON FOR JUNE 7, 1992
God’s Justice Will Prevail
KEY VERSE: “The Day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.” —Obadiah 1:15
SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Obadiah 1:4, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21
THE SCRIPTURES ASSURE us that our Heavenly Father is absolutely perfect in every quality of his being. His character is made up of justice, wisdom, love, and power. He preserves each of his qualities intact without allowing them to interfere with each other. With the Almighty, justice is declared to be the very foundation of his throne and of his government: “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne.”—Ps. 89:14
When our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God’s law in the Garden of Eden it was necessary for the Creator to exercise his justice. The penalty for that disobedience was expressed by God in this way, “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) The Margin in the King James Bible is a clearer translation: “Dying thou shalt die.”
So it was that the dying process first began to function with regard to mankind, because of father Adam’s disobedience which necessitated God’s justice to be employed. Children born to Adam and Eve after they had sinned, inherited sin, with its concomitant suffering, and finally death. The psalmist acknowledged, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”—Ps. 51:5
As the human race multiplied it became increasingly wicked, calling for correction and the administration of justice. Even after God’s Law had been carefully recorded for the Hebrews, the Scriptures give us a great number of examples of wickedness, and violence that occurred between nations. One such evidence is found in the Book of Obadiah—the shortest prophetic book of the Hebrew Scriptures. It contains a proclamation of Jehovah’s judgment against Edom. The Edomites, bitter enemies of the Jews, were descendants of Esau. They encouraged the perpetuation of the enmity of Esau toward Jacob. On one occasion, they refused passage to Moses through their country when Israel needed their help.
At that time in history the nation of Israel was God’s ‘chosen people’. The action and attitude of the Edomites toward Israel displeased God. As a result Obadiah expressed a dire warning to them which is recorded in Obadiah 1:15. God’s justice prevailed once again when the Edomites were destroyed by the Babylonians. This shows that while the wheel of justice often grinds slowly, in God’s due time his will is accomplished.
It was the Heavenly Father’s desire, from the very beginning of the tragedy in the Garden of Eden, to provide a way by which he could be just, and yet through his wisdom and love, forgive and receive the sinner back into his favor. The glad tidings concerning this is that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.”—II Cor. 5:19
We are assured by the Scriptures that Jesus willingly cooperated with God’s plan for our “ransom … from the … grave.” (Hos. 13:14) Thus we rejoice to see that the justice of God did not render his love powerless. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”—I John 4:9
When Christ’s kingdom is established upon earth, all evil nations and wicked systems of the world will be completely destroyed. God will then “turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.”—Zeph. 3:9