By Benjamin H. Liles
I'm reading this morning and I read these words, "Let the heavens rejoice...For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth" (Psalm 96:11-13).
I like how the psalmist says, "He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth." While Jesus was here, walking among His people in Israel and in Samaria too, He gave them something worth living for. "To those who are poor, they received a kingdom; to those who mourned, they were comforted; to those who are meek, an inheritance; for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, fulfillment; those who are merciful, they obtain mercy; those pure in heart, the ability to see God; for the peacemakers, children of God; those being persecuted for righteousness' sake, the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3-10).
I want to challenge you this day to see what the psalmist saw. Do you see it? "Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the field be joyful...will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming to judge the earth" and then we see that beautiful line, "He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth." Do you know the truth? I mean, really and truthfully, have a deep-seated knowing the truth of God? This proverb comes to mind, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).
If the beginning of wisdom is having a healthy fear of God, knowing He righteously judges every man's motives and faith, i would want to put my stock and faith in Him, for He judges "the world with righteousness." I hope you get it now. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. It is by His righteousness we are healed, that we receive life, and a resurrection by putting our faith in Him. If He can promise He will be resurrected and He did, according to scripture, how much more will He come back extending righteous judgment?
I'm sorry, but I'd rather exchange my unrighteousness, knowing that these things aren't just filthy to God, but He shall cast every unrighteous man and woman away from Him. "But," I can hear. "If that's the case, God isn't merciful or kind."
God is merciful, truthful and kind, you just don't see Him that way. You base your understanding of Him through eyes of worry and doubt. You see Him, not being righteous, but you put your unrighteousness upon Him. I'd be afraid, for "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31, Berean Study).
Friend, don't you want that same healing Jesus gives to those He mentions within Matthew 5? If you just exchange the lie for the truth, accepting His gift of life, which He did on the cross for you, you can have His righteousness and so much more. But don't put it off, saying, "Oh, it can wait." The fact is God is thundering down in judgment on a white horse. I don't know the day or the hour, but He is coming back to execute His righteousness and His judgment and it's the truth.
And while we're on that subject, let me remind you also of one more promise concerning His judgment and His righteousness, "The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, Holman Christian Standard). Therefore, His patience toward you doesn't mean to put off having His righteousness off for one more day. Who's to say He doesn't come and judge you within the next five minutes? Perhaps He shows up in the night, showing you His justice and His righteousness in such a way you have to make a choice then and there?
There is no way around the truth on this issue of God's righteousness and His just judgment. There is no escape from Him on that. Which is why I'm begging, imploring of you here and now: Do you want His righteousness credited to you? Might I suggest turning to Him and His word while His tender mercies may be found. For while He is near, not in judgment, but in tender mercy He can and will forgive you of all sin, as long as you want true change from a sin-filled life, to a life of His righteousness given to you in full measure.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for all You have done in my place. I am so unworthy of You, of Your mercy and love. You could have judged me with Your righteousness last week, but when i called to you, in my distress and in my hour of need, You heard my cry. You told me, "Do not fear for I am with you." I cannot begin to express my thanks or even gratitude to You for giving me Your righteousness. I'm unworthy of Your gift You bestow, but I accept the gift of Life that You extend for me handing over my unrighteousness. I ask that each and every person who comes back to You, giving You their hearts and minds, that You keep them fully from those things, which steal, kill, and destroy. I'd rather one hour of trouble, than three and a half years of Hell on earth. So, I ask this in Your presence and holy name. Keep and give Yourself to those who ardently seek after You and Your righteousness. I ask this and claim it in Your name. In the name of Jesus, amen.