Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Just God"

Psalm 9:7-20(ESV)

But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.
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 sits enthroned in Zion!
    Tell among the peoples his deeds!
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
    he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13 Be gracious to me, O Lord!
    See my affliction from those who hate me,
    O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may recount all your praises,
    that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
    I may rejoice in your salvation.
15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
    in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
    the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. 
17 The wicked shall return to Sheol,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
    and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
19            Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
             let the nations be judged before you!
20            Put them in fear, O Lord!
                  Let the nations know that they are but men! 

No one is excluded from God’s justice. God is a just God and the author of justice. He cannot turn His eye from injustice and unrighteousness and not deal with it. Yet God’s justice coincides with His love, grace, and mercy. When God is forced to deal with injustice, it is a measure of His redemptive work to bring people into a relationship with Him. But it is also a means of dealing with evil in the world and providing mercy for those who are victimized by the injustice of others.

1. The righteous can always call on God for help (Ps. 9:7–12). 
People who have a relationship with God are not immune from either the troubles they create on their own or those brought on by others. In dark situations, they have the advantage of being able to call on God for His help. Throughout history, God has shown a track record of faithfulness to His people, giving the righteous confidence to trust Him with the outcome. - The stresses of life can easily become deep and make us feel like we are dog-paddling to survive the day. God wants to give us victory in overcoming struggles, and all we have to do is call out to Him as the Psalmist suggested.

2. The wicked will not be left standing (Ps. 9:13–18).
People who do not have a relationship with God receive a double whammy. They get caught in their own web of trickery and deceit. Then, when they face God’s judgment, they cannot stand against Him and so face eternity without Him. - It’s never a good idea to go with the ways of the world and join in its injustice. With God as the ultimate just judge, wickedness can never win in the end. There are eternal costs to pay.

3. Only what God thinks matters (Ps. 9:19–20).
Sometimes people can get puffed up with pride and power and begin to think that they have more control than anyone should. They try to play God in their own hearts and minds. God can humble the most powerful people in an instant. Great or small, man cannot stand against God, who is the ultimate rule of justice in the end. -  Tiger Woods, the greatest golf player in the world, thought that he could get away with anything because of his fame and fortune. After his private affairs became exposed, he said, “I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew that my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply . . . I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.” We are all merely men and the rules that we must play by are found in God and His Word. They are the same for everyone. - Only what God thinks matters. Living by His Word is a sure way to live in line with what He says is right and just. Even what we think of ourselves will be thrown out the window when we stand before God because we are human and He is God. We need to live by His standards starting right now.

God’s justice shows no favoritism. Every single person, no matter what faith, faces the justice of God. Christians have the advantage of a relationship with God because of knowing that Christ has paid the price for the judgment that they deserve. Those who are of the world face the same level of justice, but they must face the consequences for their actions because they have not asked Christ to take their place. God’s justice has everything to do with living in a right relationship with Him and with others. Because God is just, He cannot indulge the injustice of people who act on their own self-centeredness. God plays no favorites. He lives by His own standards and expects those in relationship with Him to do the same. 

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