01/14/Th – Righteous Judge, Righteous Judgement

1 Chronicles 7:1-40; Acts 27:1-6; Psalms 7:10-17; Proverbs 3:13-15

Psalms: “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge and a God who shows his wrath every day. If anyone does not repent, he will sharpen his sword; he has strung his bow and made it ready. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he tips his arrows with fire. See, the wicked one is pregnant with evil, conceives trouble, and gives birth to deceit. He dug a pit and hollowed it out but fell into the hole he had made. His trouble comes back on his own head; his own violence comes down on top of his head. I will thank the Lord for his righteousness; I will sing about the name of the Lord Most High.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭7:10-17‬ ‭CSB)

David wrote this psalm in response to being falsely accused by Cush the Benjamite. Earlier in this psalm, David submitted himself to God’s judgement – asking God to show him if there wer any truth to the accusations… if he had any responsibility in the matter, and to discipline him accordingly if he was found guilty. Though David feared the Lord, he was not afraid to lay his life open before the Lord, because he knew God to be a completely good and completely righteous judge. He also knew that God was slow to anger and quick to forgive, provided David acknowledged his sin and repented to God. The Bible teaches that it is God’s goodness and kindness (not His wrath) that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4-6). When God judges us righteously and convicts us of our sin, we can confess and repent safely knowing that He is good and kind… and by confessing and repenting, we experience the kindness and goodness of God as He forgives us, shows us mercy, and blesses us with grace. On the other hand, we can reject God’s kindness, harden our hearts and refuse to repent. On those who reject the opportunity to repent, the Righteous Judge will pass His righteous judgement. It may not happen immediately – for sometimes, in His mercy and love, God leaves that window of opportunity open for quite a while. But that window doesn’t stay open forever… and when it closes, the judged will receive their just judgement, the wicked will fall into their own traps, and those who hardened their hearts against God will receive what they earned. We have actually seen this played out before our eyes in recent days, and I suspect we will continue to see God’s just judgement meted out for some time to come. God is both good and awesomely fearful. Better to receive His goodness now, than to experience the awesomeness of His righteous and justifiable wrath later. Submit your life to the Righteous Judge and place your faith in His goodness. Acknowledge your sin and repent… and know that in Him, as you remain upright through Him, you will be safe.

Proverbs: “Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding, for she is more profitable than silver, and her revenue is better than gold. She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire can equal her.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:13-15‬ ‭CSB)

Wisdom is found in humility, not arrogance. Wisdom is found in the multitude of counsel, not in independent thinking. Wisdom is found in utter dependence on the Lord, not in self-reliance. The United States was founded on the belief that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right given to us by God. How ironic it is, that the way Americans pursue happiness is through arrogance, independent thinking, and self-reliance. The same God who gave us the right to pursue happiness has also given us the way to find happiness – and it is not the American way. Godly happiness is found by obtaining Godly wisdom and understanding – and that is found through humility, dependence on God, and mutual submission to proven, faithful, and godly people.

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