Because God is perfect, his justice must necessarily also be perfect.
God cannot be perfect and his justice imperfect: That would not only be illogical but impossible.
God’s justice can be clearly seen in the action/consequence sequence. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Scientists know that, but for some reason most Christians do not.
The Old Testament is full of historical events that serve as cautionary tales. A cautionary tale is something that teaches you not to do something because the consequence will be bad for you. Jesus also used the “cautionary tale” approach in his parables. Unfortunately, most people don’t heed the advice of cautionary tales, and then when the consequences of their stupid actions come crashing down around them, they tend to blame everyone but themselves.
Take Eve, for instance. She had it pretty good in the Garden of Eden – didn’t have to work to earn her daily bread, didn’t have to worry about what to wear, and spent time every day face-to-face with God. She was living on Easy Street. The only restriction was that she wasn’t to eat the fruit from one particular tree. Just one. All the rest of the fruit on all of the rest of the trees was hers for the taking.
Then along came Satan with his promise of how great life would be if Eve would only eat from that one forbidden tree, and with very little hesitation Eve caved. Then Eve told Adam what Satan had told her, and with very little hesitation he caved.
And then along came God and his perfect justice in the form of consequences. Knowing full well they had gone against God’s instructions, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God when he called on them the next day. But when God confronted them with their actions, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed Satan.
So much for taking personal responsibility.
Being God and being perfectly just, God had to let Adam and Eve suffer the consequence of their actions. If he had just looked the other way or let them off with a stern warning, the consequences would not have been equal to the actions. They were wrong to listen to Satan, they were wrong to eat the forbidden fruit, and they were wrong not to take personal responsibility for their actions. These were three huge no-no’s, so the consequences had to be likewise huge.
Many people equate God’s justice with punishment, but that’s only half of the equation. Certainly, God’s justice is a gigantic balancing act of action and reaction (or action and consequence), but God’s justice is also tempered with mercy. God alone knows the full extent of our culpability. So, for instance, he knows when we’ve been suckered into doing something wrong, and he knows when we purposely set out to do wrong even when we are fully aware of the consequences. God knows these distinctions because God knows everything: His knowledge is perfect. That is why he instructs us to leave the vengeance to him. He knows exactly what to do to balance the justice equation.
And this is where brute science and God differ. It’s also where Earthly justice and God differ. God’s justice is tempered with mercy because God loves all of us unconditionally and wants only the best for us. All of us. Equally. But God only shows mercy to those who show mercy. If you show no mercy, you will be shown no mercy.
God showed his justice to Adam and Eve when he exiled them from the Garden of Eden, but he showed his mercy to them when he made coats for them to keep them warm. Newton’s third law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is the law of the physical realm. But God’s justice encompasses both the physical and spiritual realms. This is what distinguishes God’s justice from the brute justice of physics.
The take-away from this is that no-one ever ‘gets away with’ anything; they may do something that is undetected on Earth but you can be sure that God sees it and rewards it accordingly. In the same way, the good deeds we do anonymously and “in secret” (as Jesus advises us) are also seen by God and are also rewarded accordingly.
For many, God’s justice is something to fear or defy or even to claim as non-existent or flawed. But for true believers, God’s justice is a comfort and a guide, even when (ESPECIALLY when) it hurts.