“For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.
The Bible is filled with wonderful promises designed to comfort and guide the believer through the pitfalls of life. One such promise is recorded here. The psalmist declares that the day is coming when the world will be judged in righteousness.
This promise should comfort us when we are wronged or hear of injustice running rampant. We can be confident when He comes He will make all things right. I find it interesting that this seems to be the cry of every human heart. We have all heard children, parents, employees, and citizens cry out, “It’s not fair.” Even those who do not choose to follow Christ will refer to Karma, the thought that the universe has a way of making things right. While karma is certainly not a Biblical doctrine it does reflect the cry of man for the justice Christ will bring when He returns.
This promise should affect our behavior. If we realize we will one day give an account for our actions, our behaviors will begin to change. Sometimes it is only the threat of the consequences that motivate us to do the right things. I find this to be true when it comes to driving. If there was no threat of a ticket I am sure my speed on the highway would increase dramatically. When it comes to our family life and our private time one of the great motivators is to keep in mind that one day Christ will return to judge in righteousness.
There is both a positive and a negative side to this truth. Negatively it deals with the fact that we must give an account for what we have done wrong. Fortunately a remedy has been provided in the cross. Our guilt can be removed by trusting in the work of Christ. When we accept His provision for our sin we no longer have to bear it ourselves. Positively the truth of Christ coming to judge in righteousness reminds us that the things we do in secret for the kingdom will not be forgotten.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Questions for Psalm 98
- This psalm is a song of praise, rejoicing that Jesus is King and that He is returning to rule the earth. In the first three verses, what are some of the things that the psalmist declares that God has done?
- Read over the entire Psalm. List some of the different ways that the psalm exhorts us to praise God. Are these the only ways?
- Many times in this psalm the psalmist reminds us that joyshould accompany our song and praise. No matter what we are going through or what bad things are happening in the world, nothing will stop God from being good, and nothing will stop Him from returning to make things right. Are your praises joyful? Whether they are or are not, take time to dwell on the goodness of God, and the certainty of our Good King’s return.