Pastor's Column: Praise the Log for - his justice?
June 25. 2013 12:50PM
When it comes to praising God, here's the aspect of His character that we have neglected most: His justice.
Psalm 98:7-8 has some stunning imagery of praise: Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD.
Amen and amen, right? Heck yeah. I love this evocative call to the very elements of nature to worship God. But that's not actually the end of the sentence.
Verse 9 completes it: ...for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity."
What current worship song have you sung that explicitly mentions God's coming judgment of the whole earth? What old hymn can you think of that extols His justice? I'm at a loss. I don't think it's an intentional neglect, maybe an overlooking on our part. Yet for the Psalmist, the fact that God will judge the world with perfect justice and fairness is cause for the whole created order to burst forth in praise of Him!
Isn't that incredible? Indeed, isn't it a comfort to know that God lets nothing slide? Every wrong you've been dealt, every time you've been unjustly treated, every racist epithet, every knife in the back, every slander, every rotten disease will be dealt with in God's perfect righteousness. Do not fear. One day everything will be made right.
But maybe it should make us fear. The Bible declares that God will indeed judge the whole world one day. Every person will appear before Him: you, me, our children, our friends. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao. Mother Theresa. Benjamin Franklin. Nebuchadnezzar. Steve Jobs. Rush Limbaugh. Alexander the Great. Miles Davis. Miley Cyrus.
How will He find you and me? How will we stand in the light of His all-seeing, all-knowing wisdom? Won't He find an entire lifetime of sins, failures, evil thoughts and wicked motives? How will we stand? We won't.
Unless Jesus Christ covers us. Unless God looks on us and sees Jesus' perfect obedience instead. Jesus died on a cross to pay for sins, and rose again to give new life. When a man, woman or child trusts Jesus by faith, they are united to Jesus. His righteousness becomes theirs. It is the only way to stand in the judgment and join the sea, the rivers, and the hills in praising God for His justice.