Dwelling on Justice and Mercy

1 Chronicles 21:13 “Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

I’ve always been intrigued by trials and courtrooms. I’m one of the few people I know who has never been called for jury duty but wishes they were.

When Chip and I were first married, we moved to Ft. Pierce, Florida where he and his brother began a business. He worked long hours and since at that point I had neither friends nor a job, I found myself looking for ways to occupy my time. There wasn’t a lot happening in a town whose population consisted primarily of construction workers and retirees. However, a murder trial was taking place at the city court house. A former Sheriff’s deputy was accused of killing two teenage girls. I decided to observe the daily proceedings (along with many of the over-65 residents). Perry Mason move over!

Don’t we all long to live in a world where justice prevails? Or maybe we don’t. When David sinned against God by taking a census of Israel’s fighting men, he was given three options as a consequence: 1) three years of devastating famine; 2) three months of debilitating war; or 3) three days of ravaging plague. David chose the latter, acknowledging the possibility God’s mercy might intervene. He was right. As the plague reached its height, God relented and stopped the destruction.

So I must admit, as much as I love justice, I’m grateful I don’t get what I deserve any more than David did for his foolish actions. God sent Jesus to balance the scales of justice for my sin. Although I might have to suffer natural consequences for my behavior, his mercy prevails, washing me with forgiveness. And not only me. His mercy extends for all who ask, no matter how badly we mess up.

Of course, we believers know this, but I wonder if the interaction between God’s mercy and justice isn’t one of those areas Oswald Chambers is referring to when he writes, “We do not allow our minds to dwell as they should on these great massive truths of God.”

The Florida man was convicted and sentenced to prison. I don’t know if he ever called out to God, but the “massive truth” is that if he did, even he would have found mercy and forgiveness. Something to dwell on.




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