“The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment.” Psalm 9:7
The Lord reigns forever…think about the psalmist’s statement for a moment. What does it mean to reign? There are many uses for this word, but in this verse, it means to dwell or remain. Another way to say it would be, “The Lord abides forever.” Where does He remain? He remains on His throne, which He has established for judgment.
In this short verse, the psalmist tells us a lot about the character of God. We see in this verse a picture of God’s holiness and righteousness. We see a King reigning and ruling on His throne. A throne represents authority. God seated on His throne illustrates His lordship over all created things, both in heaven and on earth.
In addition to His place of authority, we also see God as judge. His throne has been established for judgment. In our culture, we have been taught that judgment is a negative thing. Many people, even Christians, view God as a harsh judge just waiting to punish them for every mistake. And, while hell is a very real place, this is not a biblical view of God’s judgment.
The word judgment is a legal term. Have you ever been in a courtroom and watched a judge preside over a case? The judge’s job is not to condemn. His job is to listen to all the evidence and make a ruling based on justice. Well, God is the only completely just judge, because only God is completely just. God is not swayed by the opinions or smooth talk of men. Therefore, His judgment is always right.
How then, you may be thinking, does God decide who is saved and who is condemned? By what standard does He decide heaven or hell? There is only one requirement…Christ. Because God is a just judge, He has to punish sin. He cannot ignore it…if He could He would cease to be God. But, in His mercy, He poured out His punishment on Christ, making a way for men to be forgiven and set free from the penalty for their sins.
So, when we stand before God at the end of our earthly lives we will face a throne of judgment. The good news of the gospel is that this could be the greatest day of our lives. It could be the day that God looks at us, and instead of seeing our mistakes and missed opportunities, He sees His Son and says: “Well done.”
Father, thank You for judging me based on Christ’s merit and not my own. Help me to remember today that I am free from Your condemnation if I have surrendered my life in faith to Christ. May my life be a light that leads others to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.