Does God Pervert Justice?

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Job 8:1-7

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: . . . “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?” (v. 3)

One of the most common complaints overheard in our household is, “It’s not fair!” The only way this complaint makes sense is if the offended child has some basis of comparison. It’s when the gift received is smaller—or the punishment suffered is greater—than that of a sibling that the allegation of injustice is made.

When Job’s friends start talking, they try to make sense of his plight. They insist that Job must have done something wrong. Job insists that he did not, implying that he is receiving unfair treatment. One of Job’s friends, Bildad, asks, “Does God pervert justice?” As readers, we ask the same question: Does God pervert justice? God’s treatment of Job seems unfair. And sometimes our lives feel unfair, too. Yet according to the Scriptures, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

God’s justice demands death for every sin. Therefore every breath we take is an exception to God’s justice. In fact, God does pervert justice, but in our favor. God’s justice must be satisfied and yet God’s love must be complete. How does God resolve this dilemma? Paul concludes, “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24 NIV). God’s justice and love are satisfied at the cross. This is God’s grace.—Ben Van Arragon

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for upholding and fulfilling divine justice on my behalf.