As would be expected, the One who created all things and established the standard of conduct for His created, is the rightful Judge for non-compliance to His standards.
There are numerous examples in the Bible that provide warnings of God’s absolute, impending, required judgment. That implies His created did not live up to His standards. That is an understatement.
“Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge.” Psalm 50:6
King David, who began his rule in 1010 BC was said to be a man after God’s own heart. David had much to say about the future judgment, even in times of celebration and joy.
After the ark was taken to Jerusalem and placed in the tabernacle, David expressed his joy in a song of praise to his God. Within this song, the future judgment of the earth by God is acknowledged.
“He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth…Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth.” 1 Chronicles 16:14, 33
Note that even the creation itself, i.e. the trees of the woods, shall rejoice before God when He judges all things and restores His creation to its intended purpose.
The Hebrew noun for ‘judgment’ means ‘sentence’ or ‘verdict.’ It could be either good or bad. The verdict could be either condemnation or vindication. The concept of repayment and retribution is prevalent. The Hebrew verb for ‘judge’ generally means to ‘arbitrate’ or ‘litigate.’
David is also quoted in numerous Psalms where he declares the inevitable future judgment by the sovereign and righteous God.
“…For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity (uprightness).” Psalms 98:9
God’s judgment is always described as righteous; which means according to His standards. The ‘world’ in this verse refers to the people populating the earth.
Both of the above passages use the same terminology, i.e. ‘for He is coming to judge the earth…’ and its inhabitants.
Just as in the New Testament, the righteous chosen ones of God in the Old Testament will rejoice at justice and vengeance for the wicked.
“The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, so that men will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely He is God who judges in the earth.’” Psalm 58:10-11
Judgment in this verse is likewise administered to both the earth and all mankind.
Many do not believe a loving God could seek vengeance. The Hebrew for ‘vengeance’ in Hebrew does in fact mean revenge, retaliation, and punishment. Vengeance is required of a holy God. All disobedience must by necessity be dealt with.
In another Psalm, David explains that man has brought on their own judgment.
“The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught…The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” Psalm 9:15-16
The absolute truth is that the nations (heathen) are totally responsible for their impending judgment because such judgment is directed to ‘…all the nations that forget God.’
And then David implores God to remind those created in His image that they are just men and not God.
“Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O LORD that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” Psalm 9:19-20
Following David’s forty year rule, his son Solomon ruled. Solomon’s rule ended in 931 BC when the nation of Israel was divided.
As previously mentioned Solomon penned 3,000 proverbs. Judgment was one of the topics Solomon addressed in his wisdom writings.
“Rejoice, O young man…and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart…but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9
Solomon’s advice? Enjoy your days, but live your life within the bounds of God’s word, for it is by this word that mankind will be judged.
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