I never would have guessed my dog had a dark side. The cat, yeah. That was a no-brainer. She’s haunted our countertops from the time we took her in. But my innocent little puppy bear could do no wrong. Until the day I caught her in action.
Prior to that day, the cat always took the blame for the disappearing food phenomenon in our household. And yet she kept meowing for more. I couldn’t figure out why she was acting so hungry despite regular mealtimes and stolen side-dishes. So I decided to keep vigil. That’s when I found the true culprit.
Thing is, the dog wasn’t even remorseful when I caught her—sneaking food from the cat’s dish. Snatching entire meals from the baby’s highchair tray. Hijacking my daughter’s afternoon snack right out of her hands. No, the dog did not have her tail between her legs when caught red-pawed. She just looked at me with those brown teddy bear eyes, licked her furry lips, and wagged her tail as if to say, “Yum.”
There’s no question I love my dog. BUT I also love my kids and my cat. It wasn’t fair for them to starve while the dog had her fill. I had to take action. If caught food-snatching, she’d get a time-out in her carrier. The child safety gate became a barrier between her and every potential food venue except her own. And I had to keep her separate from the cat and kids during mealtime.
Sometimes we think of God’s judgment as unloving, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because of his love, he hates injustice and in his perfect time will take action to protect the oppressed. Tracing the roots of God’s judgments in Bible times, we find it was always directed toward injustice. How loving would it be to let injustice persist while the poor endure the burden of oppression? On a far smaller scale, how loving would it be for me to let the dog have all the food while the others I love went without?
God is a God of love, and his love is just. In his justice, he will protect the fatherless and the widow. He will stand on behalf of the oppressed. The chains of injustice will not prevail. Because there cannot be love without justice, nor justice without love.
“The Lord executes justice for the oppressed; he gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; he raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous; he protects the strangers. He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.” (Psalm 146:7-9)