We need to stop for a minute to think about what we think about God. Who is He? What kind of personality does He have? Far too many people believe that God is just a Big Guy in the Sky who waits around all day for someone to sin before beating them down with something that they don't want (a loss, an injury, or just getting hit over the head with a stick!). However, I think that we need to critique this view of God because this is not like Him at all!
On the other hand, many people believe that God is a Being that lives in a far away Heaven, and Who has little, if any, contact with His creation. These people often believe that, when God does come into contact with His creation, He does so to pat people on the back and tell them that all is well before turning His attention away from His creation for some time. This view of God is just as inaccurate as the view that He is the "Big Guy in the Sky".
I am sure that everyone has heard that "God is love." (1 John 4:8). Sometimes, it is easy for us to merely say this phrase and believe (although we sincerely believe) that we understand God's personality. Although John's statement is true, we have to stop and ask ourselves what he meant by it.
God is love, and God is just. For many, this seems like a contradiction. However, it is not a contradiction. It may be a paradox, or something beyond what we can truly comprehend, but there is no contradiction between God's love and God's justice.
If we want to understand God's love and His justice more, we need look no further than King David. King David, perhaps more than any other person in the Old Testament, understood what it was like to undergo persecution. Doing no wrong, David was chased away from his home by a jealous King Saul. He literally played a game of hide and go seek with King Saul, with the stake being his life. Yet King David always found refuge in God.
King David was called "a man after God's own heart." And that he was. King David understood that God loved him, a little shepherd boy from a small, seemingly insignificant town. King David turned to God in the good times and in the bad. King David understood that God is a loving, merciful, gracious God. When David needed someone to lend an ear, David went to God.
David also understood that God is just. Whenever David was oppressed and persecuted, David would make his appeal to God. He would not go out and try to fight battles in his own strength, even when they could be won (think of David and Saul in the cave, when David had the chance to kill King Saul, but didn't). Rather, David appealed to God, because he knew that God is perfectly just.
I challenge everyone reading this post to read Psalm 10 and try to understand the relationship between God's love and God's justice more deeply.