Poetic Justice Actual Justice
Psalm 18:25-26
With the merciful you will show yourself merciful; with an upright man you will show yourself upright;…

What we call poetic justice pervades the whole Bible. We feel ill the advancing civilisations that there is a reaching more and more to a realisation of this justice. In Job we have its full exemplification. There the latter end of the history of the mart vindicates all. It is a dangerous teaching that some people try to wring out of the New Testament, that good people must not expect success in this world; that only the children of this world are wise in their generation, and can secure to themselves worldly prosperity. The opposite teaching is not near so dangerous, and not so wide of the truth, that all things will come out well in this life for those who do right. It does not always so turn out, but this is the tendency. We do not believe it is a good policy even in the material world to be bad. With the merciful God is merciful, and with the pure He is pure, and with the froward He is froward. Let us go beyond the physical world into the moral world. God is present with His world, governing it constantly. I do not believe that He is unknowable. He has wrought Himself in all His work, and is, of all powers, the most perpetually forced upon our attention. All science, all art, all of our studies are theological studies. Now, God reveals Himself as always on the side of right. In the moral world penalty follows wrong, and reward follows right with unfailing certainty. There is no confusion, there is no uncertainty in the moral world. Judgment is present everywhere. Of all scepticism, that is the most dangerous that questions the fundamental difference between right and wrong in their nature and tendencies. Plutarch speaks of the delay of judgment. There is no such delay. It comes, and comes at once. There are various elements that go to make up this penalty. Remorse, which is everywhere present in greater or less degree. Various social and civil penalties. The actual loss in our moral natures. Our idea of God is determined largely by our own character. The vision we have of God in the plain of the intellectual perception is a reflection of our own selves. The God of each man is different from the God of other men. As you are, so is your God.

(John W. Chadwick.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

WEB: With the merciful you will show yourself merciful. With the perfect man, you will show yourself perfect.

God's Mercy Among Christians
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