A group of rowdy teenagers spray-painted obscenities on the brick walls of a local high school. The police charged them with malicious destruction of property. The judge sentenced them to probation with no jail time—but only if they could get every bit of paint off the walls, including the cracks between the bricks. It took them days!
Another judge gave some vandals the opportunity to learn all about drywalling—by repairing a home they were found guilty of ransacking.
I admire judges like these who hand down punishments that fit the crimes!
Our Lord also has a sense of poetic justice—a way of making sure the guilty get paid back in a way that suits what they’ve done, sometimes in a way they least expect. Think of Haman, who was hanged from the same gallows he built for Mordecai (Esther 7:7-10). In the future, as Revelation 16:6 tells us, those who “have shed the blood of saints and prophets” will be given “blood to drink. For it is their just due.” In these examples, the guilty are punished in a way that fits their crimes.
In Revelation 16:7, we read, “Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” We can be glad they are not only poetic, but right!
The best of judges on this earth
Aren't always right or fair;
But God, the Righteous Judge of all,
Wrongs no one in His care. —Egner
God's judgment may not be immediate, but it is inevitable.