Recently, I was in court with a client who had charges pending against him. He denied the allegations and I believe him. Unfortunately, the Judge ruled against him. While the Judge’s reasoning was flawed, the verdict remained. When we left the courtroom and I could speak to my client, his first reaction was to criticize the judge, dissect the Judges’ errors, and wonder how she could reach that conclusion. Immediately, I stopped him and asked, “What is God teaching you?”
For over a year, God had been sending my client a clear message regarding some choices he was making in his life. Unfortunately, even though he knew what God wanted, he kept giving in to the pull of temptation. As I heard the verdict, I knew God was sending him another message; a very firm message that God wanted him to obey. I was, and am, fully convinced that God is using this unjust verdict to teach a lesson.
In Habakkuk, the prophet wonders why God is not doing something about the sin in Judah. In Habakkuk 1:5-11, God says that He is sending the Chaldeans to bring judgment. A confused Habakkuk cannot understand how God could use such a wicked people. How can He “remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (1:13). Judah might be bad, but the Chaldeans are worse. They even worship false gods. How can God allow these wicked people to bring judgment on God’s chosen people? First, God responded by saying, “wait.” God has an appointed time, “if it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (2:3). Second, the “righteous shall live by his faith.” (2:4). Despite sin and injustice around us, the righteous will live by faith. Third, God will judge the Chaldeans. In 2:6, he pronounces “Woe” on the Chaldeans and “all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you . . . Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house.” (2:8-9). Finally, God is sovereign. “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” (2:20). Nothing happens, even wicked, godless people bring judgment on God’s chosen people, unless God allows it to happen.
My client needed to understand that God was using this injustice to bring about His Will. I believe that if my client had obeyed God months earlier, then things would have been different. Perhaps my client would never have been accused, or the verdict would have been different. Regardless, my client did not obey God, so God is using this verdict to further teach him and sanctify him. Like in Habakkuk, God is using an injustice to bring about His Will. God is sovereign. The Judge handed down this decision only because God allowed her to make this decision. God directed this decision so that my client would be sanctified.
In our lives, we often see injustice win. We need to remember that God is sovereign, He uses injustice to teach us and to sanctify us, He will judge the ungodly, and the righteous live by faith.
As an aside, situations like this illustrate why I like being a Christian attorney who focuses on the legal needs of Christians. My client is a Christian. He needs help hearing God’s message and encouragement to obey. I am there to help him. Similarly, this illustrates why Christians should have a good Christian for an attorney. Who else will ask, “What is God teaching you?” For his sake, it is good that he has an attorney who will speak God’s truth.