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Judgment

28th December 2008, mgh

 

4) The Psalms and Judgment

Laws, commandments and judgment are prominent themes in the Psalms. In the following Psalm, the Psalmist states that the wicked personally will be judged.

The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God tries the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saves the upright in heart. God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he has bent his bow, and made it ready. He has also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordains his arrows against the persecutors. (Psalm 7: 8-13)

On a much wider scale, the Psalms say there will be judgment of the world.

But the LORD shall endure for ever: he has prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9: 7-10)

Those who oppress others will be judged and peace will be established in the earth.

Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man : seek out his wickedness till thou find none. The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress. (Psalm 10: 15-18)
He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. (Psalm 72: 2-5)
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shall inherit all nations. (Psalm 82: 8)

The Psalmist looks forward to a time when following God's judgment on the world there will be peace and joy on the earth.

Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalm 96: 10-13)
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.(Psalm 98: 4-9)

In Psalm 119 the word 'judgment' occurs twenty- two times. The opening of the Psalm associates precepts, statutes and commandments with righteousness and judgment. This pattern is maintained throughout the entire Psalm.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. (Psalm 119: 4-8)

The Psalmist prophesies of a future judgment of the nations, which will be carried out by the “Lord at thy right hand” who will remove the kings and leaders of countries. Only then can righteous rule be established on the earth.

The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the nations, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. (Psalm 110: 5-7)

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