"The Lord is righteous in all His ways." These words from Psalm 145:17 have often been a comfort to me. A reassuring reminder in the midst of brokenness. I look around and see circumstances that are out of my control, injustice that appears unrighted, and events whose purposes I cannot understand. In many such times I have repeated the refrain to myself that "the Lord will do what is right." He is righteous in all His ways. The Word of the Lord is a soothing balm to an aching heart.
But if I am being honest, sometimes those words have produced in me not comfort, but dread. What if God's justice means my sorrow? It would be just for God to wipe mankind off the face of the earth as He did in the flood. My sin, and the sin of all humanity, means that God's justice owes me nothing but wrath. The justice of God is a terrifying thought for a sinner like myself.
But that's not the end of the verse.
Psalm 145:17 says, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His works."
How my heart leaps when I read those words! He is righteous, and He is kind. He executes justice, and He abounds in mercy. His hot anger burns against sin, but He sought me in tenderness.
He is the God who sent a flood of wrath against the wickedness of men, but who bore Noah and His family through the waters of judgment to carry on His promise of salvation. He is the God who brought plagues upon the Egyptians, those who enslaved an entire people, but who provided a sacrificial lamb so that death might pass over the doors of those who trust in Him. He is the God who caused the seas to rage when Jonah refused His command to bring God's Word to a people lost in their sin, but who provided a way of escape in the belly of a fish. Oh, what comfort and joy in knowing the God who is righteous and kind!
And lest I forget His kindness and my heart grows hard toward Him, or forget His justice and despair of a world saturated with evil, I will ever and always look to the cross. I will fix my eyes on the place where God's righteousness and kindness was perfectly displayed, where His love made a way for mercy and judgment to be perfectly married.
When my heart is filled with questions I am afraid to utter, when my affections for my Lord have grown cold, I will meditate in this truth: my God is righteous, and He is kind.