God used the enemies of Israel to discipline his children, but it does not make virtuous the enemies’ violence. These nations were all too willing to strike God’s chosen, and God’s sword turns toward justice against the Egyptians and the Philistines, the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam, and Babylon. Lest they glory in victory and exalt themselves above the God of Israel, the Lord executes promised retribution, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3).
These nations assaulted God’s children and ought fear the looming wrath, and do. “He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare” (Jeremiah 48:44). Out of the frying pan, into the fire, there will be no place to hide.
Nations desiring neither grace nor God will discover justice. God’s rain of retribution against those opposed to righteousness creates an awful clamor, and Jeremiah cries, “Ah, sword of the Lord! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!” (Jeremiah 47:6). But justice must be satisfied, “How can it be quiet when the Lord has given it a charge?” (Jeremiah 47:7). To forfeit justice is to cheapen grace. Grace is only beautiful if justice is true.
Righteous God of Justice, You are holy. Thank You for salvation, because I deserve Your wrath. My righteousness does not measure up – it is as filthy rags. And my unrighteousness, well, I’m good at that. You have covered my sin by the blood of Your Son. There is, therefore, now no condemnation because the righteousness of Your Son is now mine. Praise God.