God’s Righteous Judgment

Final divine judgment is not a popular topic today.  Might that explain why we struggle to find meaning and purpose in life?

Today’s Reading

Psalms 10-12; Acts 17:16-34

Selected Verses

Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.   Psalm 10:13-15

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31

Reflections

The Psalmist analyzes the thought processes of the wicked who say, in essence, “God is not going to judge people.” They assume that God doesn’t know what is going on, but He does. They assume that He will not take action against their evil schemes, but He will. The idea of final judgment runs throughout the Bible. God is both holy and sovereign, so He must put right the injustice of mankind. God helps the fatherless and the weak and the poor. He hears their pleas and will bring full justice.

In Athens, Paul declares the existence of the God that they call the “unknown god.” They had many idols, but, in case they had overlooked a god, they added this one for good measure. Paul tells them about the God who is Creator and Sustainer of life. This God cannot be contained in a temple because He is infinite. He is the God who needs nothing and depends on nothing for His existence. He is not distant and aloof but will judge the world in righteousness on the appointed day by a Man whom He has raised from the dead, namely Jesus Christ. Like the wicked of Psalm 10, some of the people of Athens mocked the idea of judgment.  Some wanted to hear more.

Think about it

Many today dismiss the idea of final judgment.  At the same time, they search desperately for a reason to live. Without a clear understanding of the judgment of God we will neither have a reason to live nor motivation to seek God’s forgiveness and to live in holiness before Him. Be sure you are clear on the judgment of God and how Jesus said we may escape it (John 5:24).

 

Rulers Remembered: the Just and the Unjust

Does it seem like evil rulers get away with murder while just ones are forgotten?  Beware! For they will all answer to the Eternal Judge.

Today’s Reading

II Samuel 23-24; Luke 22:31-53

Selected Verses

The God of Israel has spoken;
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling in the fear of God,
 he dawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.       II Samuel 23:3-4

But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.            Luke 22:53b

Reflections

As David neared the end of his life, God reassured him. Just governance would not be overlooked.  The Lord blesses the king who rules justly, that is, in the fear of God.  The despot is a law to himself.  The tyrant recognizes no higher authority than himself.  He rules without fear of a final judgment day before a completely informed Eternal Deity (Romans 2:16).

The Lord’s blessing on the god-fearing leader is described in terms analogous to beautiful weather and an abundant harvest.  There is sun and rain in just the right amount resulting in lush crops.  Human hearts fill with energy and joy in the anticipation of a good day and a good future as they live under just leadership.

By contrast, in the darkest moment of human history, hard-hearted, treacherous rulers surrounded the Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane.  They came to escort Him to His death.  They epitomized unjust rulers, lacking any fear of God.

Unsurprised Jesus awaited them.  He spoke directly and fearlessly showing them that their actions were cowardly, done under cloak of night, away from the crowds of attentive listeners who sought His teaching.  He made it clear that they operated only by permission of God the Father Who allowed them their hour to act and freedom to carry out the dark deeds they had contrived.

Think about it

Unjust rulers have their day, but God will bring justice on them and blessing on those who have ruled justly.  Woe to the ruler who ignores his date with the Judge of the whole earth.

Give thanks. God remembers just rulers and punishes unjust ones. Their hour and power will end.  Whatever your role in this world exercise your authority in the fear of God.