WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘JUSTIFY GOD?’
The same with the repentant thief on the cross. While he condemned himself and the other thief by his rebuke saying, “Dost thou not fear God? For we are in this condemnation justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds?” he adds with the same breath “but THIS MAN hath done nothing amiss!” thereby justifying the spotless Son of God!”
And David while condemning himself for his sins in Psalm 51 at the same time justifies God in that very same Psalm – “that Thou mightest be JUSTIFIED when thou speakest, and be clear (or blameless) when Thou judgest!” [Psalm 51:4]
Some further thoughts from Pastor Henry Mahan on this . . .
No man, no woman is coming to the throne of grace until they, first of all, go to the throne of Judgment. No way! No man is going to come to the Cross, no woman is going to go to the cross until they have been stripped by the Law. No man is coming to Calvary until he has first been to Sinai. Now that is so! Scripture says if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged. What does that mean? It means to justify God in his judgments!
It means this. It means to say, “Lord, if you didn’t choose to give me another blessing you would be just. Lord, if you were not pleased to save my soul you would be just. Lord, if you sent me to hell you would give me just exactly what I deserve. Lord, if you flooded my life and my soul and my family with troubles, you would be giving me exactly what I deserve. That is what I am talking about!
Now, turn to Psalm 51. THAT is what David is saying here in Psalm 51. You know somebody said this one time, “When a man acknowledges that he deserves to be sent to Hell then he finally is coming to adore the true and righteous and living God!”
Listen to Psalm 51, verse three. “I acknowledge my transgressions. My sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight.” There! Here is the key! “That Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest and clear when Thou judgest!”
Do you know what he is doing here? HE IS JUSTIFYING GOD IN HIS RIGHTEOUS CONDEMNATION OF ALL OUR SINS! “God, you are right!”
THAT is what the thief said on the cross. “Lord, I am getting what I deserve!”
Listen to Jacob over in Genesis 32. Here is a Scripture worthy to be marked in your Bible, Genesis chapter 32. And this is something that we need to learn, every one of us. I need to learn it. You do too. In Genesis 32, verse nine. I want you to listen to this, Genesis 32:9, “And Jacob said,” you ought to circle this. “Oh God of my Father Abraham and God of my Father Isaac, the Lord which said unto me ‘O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I AM NOT WORTHY OF THE LEAST OF ALL THE MERCIES, AND OF ALL THE TRUTH, which Thou hast showed unto Thy servant.”
Have YOU ever been there? THAT is what I am talking about. I am talking about us justifying God. I have heard people say when they have had a tragedy, “Why ME?” I have heard people say when they lost a loved one, “Why did this happen to ME?” I have heard people say when they are discouraged and depressed, “Well, why is the Lord bringing this upon ME?”
Well, you see, you are not there yet. When you grow in grace, when you come to know Him and know yourself, you will accept WHATEVER judgment, WHATEVER condemnation, WHATEVER trial, WHATEVER burden, you will accept it from the hand of God as being ABSOLUTELY JUST! And you will accept every blessing from His hand as being UNDESERVED MERCY. And you will say with Jacob, “I am not worthy of the least of Thy mercies, not the least of them!”
Praise the Lord! – M.J.