Bible Question:

The Christian theology of the west is only appropriate for their society. The Bible teaches that one day Christ will come, rule and bring justice. But by that time millions of innocent lives will be controlled and abused by cruel dictators like Modi, Erdogan and Maduro. Such rulers have committed genocide of innocent Kurds, Kashmiris in India and the people of Venezuela. But where is the God of the Bible who is the defender of the poor? Where were the Christian leaders when the Jews and the people of Armenia were killed by the Germans and the Turks? Where is God's justice today?

Bible Answer:

The nation of Israel complained that God was not just and accused Him of favoring the wicked. Malachi 2:17 records their complaint.

You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “ Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17 (NASB)

Their question is one that concerns some people today. Where is God’s justice? Does God only care for western countries? Will God set up a kingdom just for the western nations? What follows explains that the problem is not with God.

Jonah Warns the Ninevites God is Going to Destroy Them

There Is Only One God

We will start with the testimony of Scripture that states there is only one God. There are not many gods. The western nations do not have one god and the other nations of the world have their own gods. There is only God for the entire world and universe. There are no other gods. There are no gods that are even similar to Him. Isaiah the prophet records the following message from our God — the Lord.

“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
I, even I, am the LORD,
And there is no savior besides Me.” Isaiah 43:10-11 (NASB)

That is, God declares that there is only one God and He is that God.  Then in Isaiah 44:6 God declares that there is no other god in addition to Him. There is not even a god like Him. He is eternal – “I am the first and I am the last.” Our God was the first God and He will be the last God – for all eternity!

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last,
And there is no God besides Me.
Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Isaiah 44:6-7 (NASB)

Also we are told that our God is the king of the nation of Israel and that there is no one like Him. Why are these passages important? The answer is that they reveal there is not a God of the United States, a god of India, a god of Saudi Arabia, a god for South America or a god for the other western nations. There is only one God and He is the God of all the nations of the world. He is the God of the universe! Therefore since He is just, He will treat all nations equally. If He is unjust, then there is no hope for justice since our God has also declared that no one can frustrate His plans (Isaiah 14:27). In fact, God frustrates the plans of people and nations (Psalm 33:10).

Our God Is Just – He Is Impartial

Therefore, we must ask, “Is our God just?” That is the crucial question. The answer is that our God is just. The first proof that God is just is found in two studies which explain that God is not partial: “What does it mean that God is not a respecter of persons?” and “Is God impartial? He treats people differently.” Second, there are a few passages that clearly say God is just.

Surely, God will not act wickedly,
And the Almighty will not pervert justice. Job 34:12 (NASB)

For the LORD is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18 (NASB)

Another proof that God is just is that He urges us to be just and to love others. That message is clear in Micah 6:8 and Malachi 2:17.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17 (NASB)

These verses teach that God is just. He is just with every nation of the world. His laws and commands apply to every nation and He rewards every nation justly and righteously. Consequently, we have discovered that our one and only God is just and He is in total control.

Reason Nations and People Suffer

Most people think that God is unjust because He allows them to suffer. They believe that they should not suffer because they are good people. They believe that God is unjust because they are suffering due to a lack of money, sickness, loneliness, the murder of a family member or due to some other disappointment.

The first reason people suffer is that evil occurs in our world because it is filled with wicked people ever since Adam and Eve chose to sin. We live in a fallen world. See Genesis 3.  God has declared that we left Him. He did not leave us.

Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices. Ecclesiastes 7:29 (NASB)

We have disobeyed God. Our disobedience God calls sin. Therefore, God has declared,

 . . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . Romans 3:23 (NASB)

Thus, the first reason we suffer is because we are sinners and have brought judgment on ourselves (Romans 6:23) and we have sought many evil devices.  As a result, evil occurs worldwide. Here are some of the sins that we commit and commit against others.

. . . being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful . . . Romans 1:29-31 (NASB)

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing . . . Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB)

Other sins include war, murder and adultery, porn and the worst evil one can imagine. We do this to one another. Our God is not responsible for the evil in our world – we are! In fact, those who abandon Him should not expect anything from Him because He has told us to not sin and we did anyway. Even worse, because we sin, we deserve spiritual death. The only way to escape eternal punishment in hell is to place one’s faith in Jesus Christ.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB)

God’s Divine Principle For Nations

Jeremiah 18:6-10 records a divine principle that God has established that determines how He responds to nations.

Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.” Jeremiah 18:6-10 (NASB)

The passage says that God changes His plans for a nation depending upon the behavior of the nation. If God had planned good for a nation but it does evil, then He allows suffering as punishment for its evil. If God was planning to punish a nation for its evil, but the nation changes and does good, then He will bless the nation. The book of Jonah describes the evil city of Nineveh. God had planned to destroy the nation; but when it repented, God did not punish it.

God also punished His chosen people, Israel, because they were good. But then they abandoned Him and sinned. They worshipped other gods and committed horrible sins against one another and against strangers (read the Major and Minor Prophets of the Bible). That explains one reason why God treats nations differently.

God’s Primary Law

The major reason we suffer is because we refuse to obey and worship the one and only God of the universe.  Then we accuse God of not being just when we suffer. In Exodus 20:4-5 God warned Israel and the rest of humanity that there is only one God.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them . . . ” Exodus 20:4-5 (NASB)

He wants us against worshiping other gods because the other gods are actually demons who masquerade or pretend to be a god (1 Corinthians 10:20). He is protecting us. His command is not a statement of pride but one of protection. Therefore, when we ignore Him and worship supposed gods and goddesses we should expect to suffer or be judged.

God Is Communicating To Us

Therefore, we have discovered that God is just when He allows us to suffer since we are disobedient and rebellious. Just as a father or mother will discipline their children, God disciplines us. We could say God is like the ultimate adult and we are like immature children. God has established the laws and communicated those laws to us and we are like rebellious teenagers.

Those who want to claim that God has not communicated with us ignore what God has told us. For example, in Romans 1:18-22 we are told that God has left evidence that He exists in the creation of the world and universe.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . Romans 1:18-22 (NASB)

The precision and intricacies of the universal laws, the mysteries of the human body, of the plant world and animal world all argue against evolution. They argue for an extremely intelligent designer – God. The infinite dimensions of the universe argue for an infinite God. Yet, atheists such as Richard Dawkins will argue that a space alien may have created humanity but will reject God – who is alien to us.1

God has also written His moral law into our conscience as proof that He exists (Romans 2:14-15). Therefore, we are without excuse. Yet, we ignore the evidence and our conscience and live as we desire. That is, not God’s fault. It is our fault.

God has left us evidence from the beginning of time. Historical data reveals that God has reached out to the world about Christ but the world has rejected that information. That is not God’s fault. For example, historical information reveals that many of the apostles of Christ were killed while trying to teach others about Jesus Christ, our God. Two apostles went to India to tell them about Jesus Christ but they were murdered. Bartholomew had ministered in Armenia and was flayed to death with knives in India. Thomas was killed with a spear in India in A.D. 70.

Other apostles also died while trying to teach about God. Matthew died a martyr’s death in Ethiopia. The apostle Thaddaeus died in ancient Persia which corresponds to modern day Iraq and Iran. The apostle James, son of Alphaeus, died in Lower Egypt. Philip died in Hieropolis, Turkey by hanging. It is clear God sent His apostles to tell others about Christ and the effort continues even now. Listen to what Jesus told His apostles,

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)

We Are The Unjust

Therefore, we are unjust if we accuse our one and only God of the universe of being unjust when we are the ones who have rebelled against Him. He has warned us to worship only Him and to avoid the false gods in the world, because they are actually demons who pretend to be gods. We have rejected Him and even accuse Him of being unjust when we do not like the evil world in which we live. We have created this wicked world. He has left evidence that He exists in the universe and in our conscience. He has even sent apostles to tell us that our holy God, Jesus Christ died for us, so that we do not have to go to hell and suffer for eternity.

In Jeremiah 29:13-14 God has told us that if we seek Him, He let us find Him.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD . . . Jeremiah 29:13-14 (ESV)

So, we are told that if we seek Him, He will let us find Him. Who is God? He is Jesus Christ. For more information visit “Jesus Is God“. What does God command us to do? He commands us to believe in Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23). He wants us to repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness and, believe Jesus Christ died on the cross and returned to life in an immortal body in order that our sins might be forgiven. Then He asks that we submit ourselves to Him.

. . . if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13 (NASB)

Therefore, I urge whoever reads this to repent and seek His forgiveness of your sins and give your life to God. For more information please read “Searching For God.”

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Israelites doubted that God was just. Here is their complaint.

You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17 (NASB)

Then God proceeded to tell them He was just. He would send Christ and ultimately in His timing all evil doers will be judged and punished. That will occur when Christ returns. It is called the second coming of Christ. If someone believes that Jesus Christ is the God of the western nations, it is important to understand that the Bible teaches all the nations of the world will eventually go to war against Israel. The entire world will try to defeat Israel and Christ will come and rescue Israel. Our God is not unjust. We are the ones who are unjust. We are so rebellious that we accuse Him of being unjust when we violate His laws, worship other gods and then demand that He give us what we want to satisfy our greed.

 

References:

1. Ben Stein. Expelled (DVD). Statements are made at the end of the DVD.

Suggested Links:

How did the Twelve Apostles die? - Where did the Apostles die?
Is America Being Judged Already?
What does it mean that God is not a respecter of persons?
Is God impartial? He treats people differently.
What is the difference between holy and righteous in the Bible?
Jesus Is God
Searching for God