Lent Devotional: 2 Samuel 22:26-28
by Jonathan Haefs
2 Samuel 22:26-28 (click here)
With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. (2 Samuel 22:26-28)
Confession… I love true crime documentaries. Probably a little bit too much.
I’ve actually worried about myself before… wondering, “What horrible part of me does this kind of thing appeal to?” But, after much reflection I actually think I know what it is deep down in my soul that is attracted to this particular genre… and what is it?
A desire for justice.
I truly believe that deep down we all have a desire for justice to be done, even though that desire often gets so twisted can scarcely be considered decent judges of what justice actually looks like.
Still… we all want to see things made right… especially things that concern us! We want justice done for us! Well… I have good news! Our God is a God of perfect justice!
In 2 Samuel 22, David sings of the perfect justice of our God and how he always does what is right… what is fair… what is just! “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.”
Because of this good news, we never have to seek revenge, we never have to settle the score, and we don’t have to worry that people will get away with the evil they have done to us! This world is not a true crime documentary that ends with the villain still at large or with the innocent still suffering. No. This world ends with perfect justice!
What good news!
Except… concerning us! What happens when justice is done, not for us, but to us?! All of a sudden it is bad news that our God is a God of perfect justice.
I’m totally ok with him executing justice on everyone else… but not on me. Because, at the end of the day I know I have not always been merciful, I am by no means blameless, nor have I been perfectly pure and humble. But, I have been crooked and haughty. The just judgment of God that I wish upon the rest of the world should rightly fall on me.
And it will… unless someone takes my place. Who could take my place? Is there anyone who has no sin of their own so that they do not deserve the judgment of God? Is there anyone like that who can stand in the place of sinners?
God himself took on flesh that he might maintain his justice and pour out his righteous wrath upon my sin, but he took my sin on himself and served as my substitute so that I might be justified and go free! At the cross, through Jesus Christ, God was both just and the justifier (Romans 3:23-26)!
The cross makes the justice of God nothing but good news! Because, not only does his justice mean he will deal with all the evil in the world, but it also means that he has dealt with all the evil in me and now I am free!
My desire for justice doesn’t hold a candle to God’s! And that is Gospel good news!