Scripture: Psalm 96
Key verses: (11-13)
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.
Reflection: Sometimes, when a person is tangled up in the justice system, their only hope is to be assigned to a judge known for his or her fairness and compassion.
There are judges who are known for their strictness and their unbending devotion to the law. You want to avoid those.
You have to hope that the judge you get will see beyond strict obedience to rules and law and see real people in difficult circumstances.
God does hold us accountable. But it is the character of God that determines our consequences.
The psalmist knew the God who is coming to judge the earth was a God not to be feared but to be celebrated. In fact, the earth rejoices and everything and it, because it knows that God will judge the world with righteousness, and all the people with God’s truth.
So when everyone says, “Here comes the judge!” instead of cringing, we rejoice. We know that God’s redemptive justice is our only hope. We can relax and be glad.
Prayer: You, O Lord, are ruler of heaven and earth. When you hold us accountable judge us not by our flaws and failings but by the depth of your compassion and love. We pray In the name of Jesus the Christ, who reveals your character and justice. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].