Reading: Exodus 34:5-7 and Psalm 33:1-9
God reveals that, in relation to sin, He is also just. God does not want us to think that His mercy and goodness can be used as a license for sin, therefore He will by no means clear the guilty. This refers to His severe judgment against those who sin but do not repent. Such sins are not forgiven. Furthermore God warns that He will punish the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and to the fourth generation “of those who hate Me” (Exodus 20:5). When fathers are unfaithful they will usually be followed by their children in disobedience (or hating God), even for three or four generations. When fathers become unfaithful there are very serious consequences for children and grandchildren. When the children follow their fathers in disobedience God will punish them all. But the sin of fathers has even greater consequences; God will look at the whole family, fathers, children and grandchildren and punish them if the father lives in sin and refuses to repent.
But even in this God’s wrath is short. He says He will punish for three or four generations. After that God is willing to again to turn sinful hearts towards him. This is a promise for mercy and hope.
Many people like to talk about God’s love and grace only. But God is more; He is also holy and just. We must always remember everything God says about himself. One of the marks of good theology is to confess everything the Bible teaches, not just the things we like to hear. Psalm Ps 33:4-5 teaches this clearly “For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”
Question: Identify two examples from the Bible where God shows He is just. Explain the circumstances of each example.