There is something inside of each of us that longs for justice. When your family or community is impacted by an atrocity, there is an innate wiring to every person that desires to those responsible be punished. Where does this come from and what should we do with this?
Our desire for justice comes as a result of our being made in the image of God. We learn from Scripture that God formed each of us (Ps. 139:13) and created us in His image (Gen. 1:27). Being created in the image of God and by the hand of God leaves us with certain characteristics informed by our Creator.
So, what should we do? Should we respond to every act of sin with an act of justice? Should we point and scream when another image bearer demonstrates her sinful nature? Should we ignore evil acts and simply “let God take care of it”?
Genesis 18 speaks to some of this. As God began to unfold His plan to punish the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham stepped in. Abraham knew firsthand just how sinful these people were, how distorted their views of the world were, and how extreme their culture had turned as a result. Yet, he pleaded for God to show mercy.
It’s likely that there were people that Abraham knew and worried about. It’s clear that Abraham didn’t want those who followed God to be punished along with those who did not. But it seems there was something in Abraham that desired God to show mercy to other sinners because he knew his own great need for God’s mercy as well.
When we see that the ground is level at the foot of the cross, our desire for justice is often—at least in part—overcome by a desire for mercy. When we see ourselves in need of the same mercy as the offender we have in our sights, it may likely change how we think and pray.
Ultimately, God is the judge who discerns where there is mercy. Scripture reminds us, “What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Rom. 9:14-15)
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: Jesus took the punishment for our sins.
- Younger Preschool: God is good to judge sin, and He always does what is right. Jesus took the punishment for our sin, and Jesus gives life to everyone who trusts in Him.
- Older Preschool: God is good to judge sin. He is the Judge of all the earth, and He always does what is right. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took the punishment our sin deserves, and Jesus gives His righteousness to everyone who trusts in Him.
- Kids: God is good to judge sin. He is the Judge of all the earth, and He always does what is right. God will punish the guilty. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took the punishment our sin deserves, and everyone who trusts in Him is declared righteous before God.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: Why does sin separate us from God? Because God is holy.
- Older Preschool: Why does sin separate us from God? Because God is holy.
- Kids: Why does sin separate us from God? Because God is holy, sin has broken our relationship with God.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: My eyes have seen the Lord. Isaiah 6:5
- Younger Preschool: My eyes have seen the Lord. Isaiah 6:5
- Older Preschool: I said: Woe is me … because I am a man of unclean lips … and … my eyes have seen the … LORD. Isaiah 6:5
- Kids: Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Armies. Isaiah 6:5
** Next week: God Chose David to be King (1 Samuel 16)