In my first post of this series, I shared a general overview of what I believe the Lord is saying for 2017. If you’ve not read that post yet, please do so, because these connect one to another like pieces of a puzzle. But basically, I believe we are heading into a year where God is about to recompense His people. I believe settlements are about to be paid, and we are going to see the justice of God prevail in areas that have been held up, some for years.
As I quieted myself to hear more, I felt the Lord highlight three key areas He is calling to account. Today, I’d like to share what the first of those three areas is.
# 1.) A recompense and/or settlement for what has been stolen.
“People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house.” Proverbs 6:30-31 NKJV
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25 NKJV
(See also Exodus 22:2-4)
This first area has to do with that which has been wrongfully and blatantly taken. Please notice, one of the key words here is wrongfully. The foundation of God’s throne is righteousness and justice. He is a righteous Judge and His judgments are pure. So what I am sharing here is not a pass to misappropriate the justice of God in areas where we have contributed to the losses, or where we have attempted to take matters into our own hands to try and avenge ourselves (Romans 12:19). He is the God who sees, and has taken all things into account (Psalm 56:8). If I could put it this way, what I’m referring to here are issues of intrusion and/or invasion, not issues of invitation. If we could see this in a picture form, it would be that of a broken or shattered window, not a window that has been left open.
However, I will take some time here to point out that God, in His mercy and goodness, also makes up for some of those areas of invitation. But those appeal specifically to His mercy. When we repent and renounce those areas, He uses them to turn things around for our good (Romans 8:28). He trades us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for our mourning, and garments of praise for a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3). He is a good God and wants to do those things if we will turn to Him and commit our ways anew to Him. This is also part of His nature, it’s just not what I’m referring to specifically here in this word I’m sharing.
When it comes to what has been stolen, the biblical verdict is that if (and when) a thief is caught; he must return sevenfold. Think about it. If our home in the natural had been broken into and valuable items were stolen, would we not want to be restored? Of course we would. We would definitely want the thief to be caught, that’s a given. But receiving justice would mean we would also be recompensed. In the same way, there are things – both in the spiritual and in the natural realm – that have been wrongfully taken from many of us. To name a few:
Lives of loved ones that have been cut short, causing us to be robbed of precious relationships.
Legacies that were not fulfilled by our ancestors. (Let me be very clear, if your family was robbed in this way – robbed of something you know your family was called to do – you can claim their settlement on their behalf and see the purposes of God fulfilled through you and the generations to come.)
Sicknesses which have robbed us of valuable years and finances.
Talents that have been exploited, misused or abused for the personal gain of others.
Jobs and projects for which we have not been properly compensated. (The story of Laban and Jacob comes to mind. Some of us may need to read that story in Genesis chapters 28-31 to see if the Holy Spirit highlights anything specific to us.)
Personal property like cars, equipment, or homes even, that have been wrongfully taken or that seemed like bags with holes. (In other words, the more resources we poured into them, the more those resources just ran out the bottom. I heard the Lord say specifically, this is the year that He will “close the holes“. And with this, will come a greater anointing of wisdom in how to move forward.)
Places of access that we gave to people we trusted, but who them misused them, causing us loss or costing us in unexpected ways.
These areas are just to name a few. Seeing the justice of God prevail does not stop at being freed from our oppressor(s) and seeing them captured. Though as I mentioned before, that too will happen to a greater degree this year. The thief has to be caught. The cycle has to be stopped. But seeing justice done also means that there is a settlement to be rendered.
One thing we have to recognize is that on this side of eternity, sometimes this recompense comes back to us in different forms than that which was taken. I’m drawn to think of the families of the victims of 9-11. Some things, such as the loss of precious lives, can never be repaid. But there were monetary settlements that were paid to these families, as a way to recompense for the pain, injury, and loss they experienced. That is what a settlement does. It recognizes the wrong done and it acts to do something – anything – that could in some way right the wrong. Settlements are paid to balance the scales. Settlements restore peace into a situation, causing us to breath a sigh of relief (Proverbs 29:2), by restoring back, or repaying for losses, and/or injustices. As I said in my last post, I heard a huge sigh of relief being let out by His people this year! But we must recognize that God, in His omnipotent, omniscient ways (that are much higher than our ways), He may recompense us in forms different than that which was taken.
Some of us (especially those of us who are gifted in mercy) may have a hard time accepting that we are due settlements. We don’t want to “expect” or “demand” anything from God, who has already been so gracious to us. Additionally, a healthy, reverential fear of the Lord keeps us in a place of recognizing that He is God, and we are not (Ecclesiastes 5:2). We wouldn’t dare shake our finger at Him or think we could force His arm in any way. However, I need to make it clear that seeing the justice of God prevail is not just a matter of us “getting paid”. It’s a matter of His purposes being fulfilled according to His original intent. And more importantly, Him manifesting His justice declares a very important part of His nature that needs to be seen. That of a Righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11) and of which we, as His children, are benefactors.
So, as I bring this post to a close, I would ask you, looking back on your life, can you think of areas where you need to see the justice of God prevail? I felt the Lord stress the importance of thinking back on our lives big-picture. Not focusing on small, petty things, but considering our lives in chapter-form, like major scene sequences in a movie. With each closing scene, can you identify of something(s) that was taken? Where do you need to breath a sigh of relief? I believe now is the time to look back, identify, and clearly articulate, what those things were. Because I believe 2017 is going to be a year where He makes those wrong things right.
Lastly, I would like to add, appealing to the justice of God is done from a posture of humility, not a demanding one. It is done from a heart that has sought healing in God, not a victim mentality. It is done from a posture of wanting God’s justice and originally intended purposes to prevail, not from a spirit of entitlement. It is not done from a heart that is bitter or vengeful. It is from a heart that values the name of God, one of which is Justice (Jehovah-Misphat) and appeals to God to act on our behalf so that His name is not mocked. We do not look for the settlements to heal us; God alone heals us. We do not find security in these settlements; God alone is our portion. And neither do we take on the characteristics of the world when entering His courts. In all things, like it was said of David, we do that which is right in the sight of the LORD, and we behave wisely in all our ways that He may be honored.
Thank you for reading and prayerfully considering this word. May the Spirit lead you to highlight and call to remembrance that which is rightfully yours. May you enter His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise. And may you fulfill all the purposes He had in mind when He created you, for the glory of His name.
-Linda G Riddle