Sunday, November 22, 2015

Anticipate your Judge

Gavel and scales of justice
Photo from

TO CHEW ON: "For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth." Psalm 96:13

I enjoy watching real life crime mysteries, the kind one sees on shows like Dateline. A frequent complication of these stories is the person convicted of the crime insisting on his or her innocence.

The dramatization (or replay of film footage of actual events) usually shows both the prosecution and defense sides of the story. So we watchers become a sort of jury, left to make up our own minds about the guilt or innocence of the accused.

More than once I've found myself disagreeing with the verdict that actually came down. I've left the program feeling that justice was not served, that truth did not win.

The psalmist in today's reading is overjoyed about an aspect of God's someday coming that we might expect him to dread—God's judgment. Why would someone look forward to God coming in judgment? Perhaps our focus verse explains it:

"He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth."

As we saw yesterday, Jesus' kingdom is the kingdom of truth. So when He judges, He also judges rightly, knowing the truth. Just as we would look forward, if we were a Dateline character falsely accused, to the coming of a judge who knew the truth and would judge righteously, so we can anticipate the coming of God, the just judge of the Earth, who is knows all the facts.

Of course, not one of us could stand before Him on our own, free of the guilt of sin. For we were born sinful. But if we have come to Jesus on His terms ("I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" - Jesus in John 14:6), God sees us as forgiven and pure. Then on the day we stand before our righteous judge who knows the truth, we can look forward to His exposé and be assured that He will deal righteously with all earth's people and events.

Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus, who has taken the punishment for my sin, so I can anticipate instead of dread Your coming as judge. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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