Islamic groups objected to the name because they believe only Allah can dispense infinite justice.
The latest out of Washington is that the Pentagon is likely to drop the initial code name for the U.S. military anti-terrorism offensive: “Infinite Justice.” Why? Out of deference to Islamic beliefs. Islamic groups objected to the name because they believe only Allah can dispense infinite justice.
Understandably, it’s good diplomacy on the part of the U.S. not to further offend the Muslim world, since we will be seeking to enlist many such countries in a global anti-terrorism coalition. There are plenty of other good names out there for an anti-terrorism offensive that aren’t so, well, offensive.
But, please, you spinsters in the Pentagon who come up with such inspiringly patriotic titles, don’t scrap “Infinite Justice” and replace it with “Infinite Injustice.” Then you’d offend me, because my God – the triune God of the Bible: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the only one who dispenses infinite injustice. And it’s my only hope for real safety and peace.
I dread a deity who specializes in infinite justice, don’t you? This deity requires a high level of allegiance from his followers, an extreme degree of moral purity, and a perfect performance of keeping the golden rule. And justice demands that anyone who does not put it all into practice all the time in all thoughts, words, and actions must be sentenced and pay the price of his powerful wrath.
No foolish follower of such a deity can honestly expect to stand before him and be rewarded justly with his pleasure and approval. Why? Because strict adherence to the perfect standards of such a deity is impossible for earthly mortals. To put it simply, there’s always room for improvement in our attitude about work, our control of inner rage against enemies as harmless as fans of the opposing football team, our vain selfishness that has at least once ignored someone in need probably without even knowing it, or our lustful eyes dissatisfied with the same old same old. And if there’s room for improvement, that means one has not legitimately met the standards set by the deity. And if that deity dispenses exact justice to the infinite degree, then his followers are in infinite trouble without any hope.
If anyone sets his or her heart on the standard of infinite justice to be saved – looking to earn a reward for his or her “good” life – that person is infinitely mistaken. It may seem like there’s plenty to be rewarded with pleasure, but infinite justice by definition searches beyond human feelings and will definitely find something to reward with punishment. Doubting that is a deadly gamble.
If it sounds like I’ve been describing the true God of the Bible, I have and yet I haven’t. The Lord God is, without question, a dispenser of infinite justice as described above. Dread him as such! However, this infinite justice has already found its mark in the infinite injustice of the cross. Take hold of the cross of Jesus Christ by faith and you have no reason to fear the burning justice of the holy, almighty God.
That is an infinite injustice made possible by God’s infinite love. Here’s the ultimate injustice: Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed … In his humiliation he was deprived of justice” (Isaiah 53:5, Acts 8:33).
My God committed a gross injustice – not against me, not against his followers, not against the world – but against himself. God the Father put God his Son to death, guilty of my hell, condemned for my spiritual crimes, even though the Son was totally innocent of it all. Oh, it is so infinite that I can’t comprehend how great is his love, so I simply believe it as he asks. And I simply, freely, receive his infinite injustice now made right by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
The Bible calls it justification – God’s heavenly offensive against the terror of sin and guilt.
PRAYER: While I must dreadfully admit my sinful mistakes to you, O God of justice, I know your infinite mercy and love. You are like no other! You are the only God who saves! Extend the injustice of the cross to me as the basis for my forgiveness, and lead me in the same way to forgive others who have hurt me. Amen.