“7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever,
he has established his throne for judgment.
8 He judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with equity.
9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion.
Declare his deeds among the peoples.” NRSV
Too often today many Christians frame God as a wild-eyed fanatic who delights, who relishes, in punishing those who fail to dot every “i” and cross every “t” in their obedience to God. People responding to such an image of God are acting out of fear, not faith. It also has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with serving the wants of those framing God in such a way. These individuals are even so bold as to hang price-tags on prayer, the more you give the more likely God is to answer, they say without saying it…and people actually pay dearly for it….in more ways than one.
People this gullible or this desperate or both need our prayers, not our judgment.
The psalmist here reminds us that God acts, God judges, with righteousness and equity! God’s judgment is an invitation to do better and be better. That’s why Jesus lifted up only two commandments (actually three) – love God, love yourself as God loves you, and love your neighbor with that same love that God loves them and you.
In actuality, God’s judgment is not handed down from the throne of God at all. Our judgment is self-inflicted judgment. It comes when we look in the mirror and discover how far short we have fallen in loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others. Those are the moments when we either accept God’s invitation to do better and to be better at loving self, God, and others (God’s true judgment) or we don’t… and live with the consequences of saying “no” to God.
God’s seat of power, God’s love, has always been in the human heart….and because God is in us, every time we look into a mirror we see a face of God. We need to learn to do a little better at judging ourselves with the love-based righteousness and equity of God…and simply choose to do better. The choice to do better and be better is a choice all of us must make. That’s judgment enough. It is also God’s grace on full display.
Be a blessing to someone today!