The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:7, 8 NIV)
Lord, Master, Savior, Redeemer, Ruler, Healer, Lover of My Soul, The Lamb, The Prince of Peace, Abba Father, The Creator, Comforter, Friend, are all ways we refer to the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All of these names and more reveal the benefits of God in our lives. But there is another name or title for God we rarely speak of; Righteous Judge.
Psalm 9 is a song of praise for God’s attribute of judgment. He is described as a judge for our enemies, judge for the nations, and the judge of our own actions as well. This Psalm shows us that God is judging the entire world based on his standard of righteousness. We don’t talk about it that much because this imagery of God as a righteous judge just isn’t as appealing as the sweet baby Jesus in the manger. I must admit, as I read this Psalm, I was disturbed when I began to put mental pictures with the words. As the Psalmist praised God for the judgment he brought on his enemies and the nations, it made me uncomfortable.
I think we all get a little uncomfortable when we read or hear preaching about God’s standard of righteousness. We’d much rather hear about how we can be blessed. We want God to make us happy but not make us holy. We want him to give us riches but we reject his righteousness. We want joy without judgment. We want to receive but we don’t want to repent. A friend of mine from college said it best, “we seek God’s hands for what he can give us, when we should really go past his hands and seek his face to be like him.”
Here’s a challenge. Read Psalm 9. Pay attention to the way the Psalmist speaks of God judging his enemies, rebuking nations, and destroying the wicked. Get a good mental picture of God executing the work of judgment. Imagine him looking at your life with the same eyes. What would you need to change in your life today for God to declare you just and righteous? Ask God to empower you with his Holy Spirit to make those changes