Will you also cancel my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?
I. MURMURING AT PROVIDENCE IS IMPUGNING GOD'S JUSTICE. This may not be clearly seen or admitted at once. The connection between the occurrences of human history and the Divine mind that controls them is not visible to the eye of sense. Thus we may complain freely of what God does without intending to charge God with wrong. And yet this is what the complaint leads to and involves. If we do not believe that things fall out by chance, and if we do not hold that the world is administered at present by a lower providence, we must be virtually impugning the justice of God when we object to what we cannot deny to be his actions. It may be desirable that complaints should be pushed to their ultimate results, for then we shall see whether they are reasonable or not. If we are persuaded that God is just, we shall see that it is unwise and wrong to murmur at what happens to us in the course of providence.
II. WE ARE TEMPTED TO IMPUGN GOD'S JUSTICE. God seemed to be acting unjustly to Job. The present aspect of the world is not that which we should expect from a fair and equitable ruler. Our own lives are subjected to rude shocks that strike us as perplexingly unjust.
1. There is injustice arising from unjust men. Job was unjustly treated, not by God, but by his three friends. We should not charge God with the sins of our own brethren.
2. We cannot see the whole of God's plan. The opening appears to be unfair. But wait for the end. God's justice is large and far-reaching. It will be revealed when the whole sweep of his dealings with us is comprehended. The arc ends in an acute angle. Only the complete circle is without a break and smooth throughout.
III. IT IS BOTH FOOLISH AND WRONG TO IMPUGN GOD'S JUSTICE,
1. It is foolish. We are not in a position to judge; we do not know all the facts, and our standard of judgment is perverted by our own prejudices and unjust claims. The tyro cannot wisely criticize the achievements of the master.
2. It is wrong. If we knew God we should not charge ]aim foolishly. But we should know him if we drew near to him in the right spirit. Too often our doubt of God's justice is not so much the product of a purely intellectual difficulty as the result of a moral fault. It shows lack of faith in his goodness, and it springs from a miserable weakness that will not venture to trust God.
IV. CHRISTIAN FAITH FORBIDS US TO IMPUGN GOD'S JUSTICE. Even Christ does not clear up the mystery, and still we have to walk by faith. We cannot yet see that God is dealing justly with us. But we have good grounds for confidence in our Lord's revelation of the nature and character of God. Christ shows us the fatherly nature of God. He makes us see that God is good and full of love for his children. At the same time, he exalts the perfect rectitude of God. Such a knowledge of God as we have in Christ should fill our souls with faith and hope, because such a God as Christ has made known cannot act unjustly, although for a time he may appear to do so. He who knows God in Christ cannot fall into pessimism. He should be able to say with Browning -
"... This world's no blot,
Nor blank: it means intensely, and means good." W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?