2 Thessalonians 1 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“G_d is just. He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to those who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the L_rd is revealed from Heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
My wife and I have four children. In our house, it is difficult to keep a secret. There’s just too many people, and too little space for privacy. Over the years we have developed an elaborate holiday shopping process. Everyone shops on the same day, yet nobody knows what they’re getting till they open their presents.
When it comes to gift giving, my kids demand FAIRNESS. Everyone must get the same amount. If it were discovered that we spent more on one sibling, there would be a huge whine-fest until next year.
Adults have similar expectations about G_d. “G_d must be fair!”
You’ll be disappointed, if your hope of G_d’s goodness is weighed on your scale for His fairness. G_d is not fair. (see also: Ecclesiastes) Fairness assumes that we should all get the same thing. Our American understanding of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” has led us to assume that everyone deserves equal portions.
Each of us has different “callings” (or “missions” to accomplish) within G_d’s Kingdom. In the Army, soldiers are rationed supplies and armaments, according to their distinct missions. Some need overwhelming supplies, and others would be hindered by abundance. It’s not a question of fairness, or equity. Supplies are rationed, based on what is right for the mission.
If G_d is not fair, then what makes Him good? He is good because He is JUST. Justice does not assume all men get equal shares in life. It simply represents that G_d can always be trusted to judge fairly and display His righteousness with ultimate authority.
The Thessalonian congregation endured severe persecution. Notice Paul didn’t promise equality with other cogregations. Instead, He encouraged them to persevere as a testimony to others. He focused their hope on G_d’s JUSTICE, instead of a false hope of equal treatment with other believers.
Some acts of Justice may not occur in our lifetime. Our oppressors may die, believing they got away without punishment. Our hope is that G_d will judge, eventually. Nobody escapes G_d’s justice. Paul indicated that aspects of the fullness of G_d’s justice will not be fully weighed on the Thessalonian oppressors, until the L_rd is revealed.
Enter Grace. Messiah took G_d’s judgment (of the World’s sin) upon Himself. Through a saving relationship with Yeshua, we can boldly stand before the L_rd, “justified”. Furthermore, the Grace of Messiah Yeshua is offered freely, to ALL who would receive it, by faith. That’s fair, enough!
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, October 24, 2013