The council in Cassandra Boyson’s Seeker’s Trilogy represents a group of individuals who were responsible for maintaining law and order in the name of the Great One. Instead, they were corrupt to the core, singling out individuals they deemed different for cruel treatment. This had a trickle-down effect where the surrounding society slowly began to decay. Yet in a surprising twist, the Great One righted the wrongs of that world not by meting out punishment, but by unleashing a glorious river which transformed all that come in contact with it.
This conclusion may seem at odds with the punishment equals justice mentality prevalent today. Yet scripture abounds with examples of God extending mercy where none was deserved. Although the first child of David and Bathsheba’s union died, the couple was later blessed with a son who would succeed David as king (2 Samuel 12:24). And though Jonah did everything in his power to prevent it, God showered mercy on a wicked Assyrian nation when they repented (Jonah 3:10). Jesus followed suit by silencing the accusers of an adulterous woman (John 8:1-11), and he surprised onlookers by associating with the hated tax collectors – even choosing one to be in his core group of twelve.
Still, we must be careful not to swing too far on the other end of the pendulum and take God’s grace for granted. When scoffers mock and say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” (2 Peter 3:4), Peter reminds us that the timing of Jesus’ second coming is designed to allow repentance for as many as possible. He urges us not to “forget this one thing: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)
How do you feel God should treat those who have wronged you in some way? Are those feelings in line with how you’d like to be treated by God? What steps can you take to adopt God’s perspective on judgment?