(Part 9) A Call To Exalt The Lord As King And Righteous Judge Of All The Earth
By Pastor Robbie Casas
On the other hand, for those who are redeemed by grace through faith in Christ, this truth brings not only comfort but also relief, not only hope but also joy.
First, this is because God’s judgment will vindicate His holiness. We see an example of this in Ezekiel 39, where we are given prophecy about an event that is yet future, even from our point of view, when God will judge an enemy of God’s people referred to as “Gog”. In that judgment, read of how God will vindicate His holy name: “7 ‘My holy name I will make known
in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,’ declares the Lord God. ‘That is the day of which I have spoken….’ 21 And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward” (Ezek 39:7-8, 21-22).
Second, this is because God’s judgment will vindicate Israel’s status as God’s chosen people. Read Isa 52:1-10: “1 Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer come into you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus says the Lord, ‘You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.’ 4 For thus says the Lord God, ‘My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what do I have here,’ declares the Lord, ‘seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?’ Again the Lord declares, ‘Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, “Here I am.”’ 7 How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see with their own eyes when the Lord restores Zion. 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.”
Third, this is because God’s judgment will vindicate Christ’s sacrifice. Read Isa 51:5-9: “5 The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not disobedient nor did I turn back. 6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. 7 For the Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. 8 He who vindicates Me is near; who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. 9 Behold, the Lord God helps Me; who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them.” Read Isa 52:13-15: “13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.”
Fourth, this is because God’s judgment will vindicate the believers and their faith. Our Christian faith has always come under one form or level of persecution or another. This has been the case from the very beginning of the existence of the church of Christ – just read through the book of Acts and you will see this. This should not surprise us but, in fact, prepare us, especially when we remember what the Lord Jesus said in Jn 15:20: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” This persecution has continued throughout the history of the church up to the present, whether this is as simple as being ignored as insignificant or being ridiculed as irrelevant, or as horrible as outright persecution that would cost believers even their very lives. The worst persecutions, however, are yet to come upon those who will come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation, a great multitude of whom will cry out to God for vindication. Rev 6:9-11: “9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Upon the fall of Babylon, an angel declared in Rev 18:20: “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”
In the end, as God judges unbelievers (see Rev 19–20), especially those who persecuted His children, and as He blesses all believers throughout the ages (see Rev 21), His vindication of them and their faith will be complete.
As I had mentioned earlier, He will put everything back into proper order, removing wickedness forever and establishing righteousness through His eternal reign. This is why the whole of creation – including all of us redeemed by Christ – will rejoice (see vv. 11-12) at His coming to judge the whole world.
How important it is for us as believers to remember that God is at the center of all that happens, not only in the history and life of mankind, but also in all of His created universe! It is only because of man’s sinfulness that he has thought himself to be the center around which all things revolve – he has come to believe that life is all about him and his happiness and fulfillment.
Psalm 96 has faced us with the truth of the complete opposite of what sinful, rebellious mankind has deceived himself to believe – ALL CREATION IS ABOUT GOD AND FOR GOD. The existence of the church and her eventual blessing, the judgment of unbelieving men and their eventual damnation are all for the accomplishment of His holy purposes and the attainment of His ultimate glory.
As we grow in the realization of this, may we all the more rejoice and be thankful that God, in His grace and mercy toward those whom He chose to save in Christ Jesus, has given His church a major part to play in the glorification of His name. Paul mentions this in Eph 3:8-11 that the gospel and the proclamation of this gospel through faithful preachers like him would reveal “8… the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and [would] bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What an indescribable honor and privilege this is for us who were once bound for hell!
PRAISE GOD FOR OUR SOON COMING KING!
Let me end with Isa 51:5-6: “5 “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands will wait for Me, and for My arm they will wait expectantly. 6 Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.”