The Majesty of Judgment

“We give thanks to you, O God;
    we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.

‘At the set time that I appoint
    I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
    it is I who keep steady its pillars. 
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
    and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
    or speak with haughty neck.”’

For not from the east or from the west
    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
but it is God who executes judgment,
    putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
    with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
    and all the wicked of the earth
    shall drain it down to the dregs.

But I will declare it forever;
    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
    but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.” Psalm 75:1-10

“In Judah God is known;
    his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established… in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. 

Glorious are you, more majestic
    than the mountains full of prey…
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
    both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you, you are to be feared!
    Who can stand before you
    when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
    the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment,
    to save all the humble of the earth.” Psalm 76:1-4,6-9

Our world is fuzzy with muddled morality and vapid living. It can be harsh with incessant caustic chatter and violence. The angst of making our way through a fallen culture unscathed and unscathing is unsettling at best. Amidst this uncertainty and certain troubles there shines the majestic beauty and rightness of God’s justice.

“The Lord sits enthroned forever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.” Psalm 9:7-8

God’s judgment is flawless, measured, excellent. It is never capricious, out of control, or unfair. It is perfectly timed and always appropriate. Often this splendid facet of God’s character is neglected, even disdained, because we shun the concept of being judged. In the flesh, we despise accountability and want only to be left to ourselves, except when offended or infringed upon by others. But in our depths, we cry out for everything to be made right, and find our hope in the Lord alone.

When circumstances totter, where do we look for stability? When pain, poverty, and injustice seem to outgrow compassion and supply, where do we turn? If we say we trust the Lord, how convincingly do we prove it by expressed gratitude, withheld revenge, expectant faith? Do we nitpick and chafe at God’s justice, or look for God’s majesty as He upholds His holiness and promises? Do we criticize or question His methods or patience in waiting, or increasingly trust that all His ways are good and redemptive and His throne is unshakeable? (Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 12:17-19; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 6:10)

Lord, let me see and trust the majesty of Your judgment, and by confidence and emulation, express its beauty in my world.

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