Thought for Thursday

But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. Romans 2:2

How would you like to be a judge? After all, the pay is pretty good; Statistics Canada says judges are one of the highest-paid professions in Canada, with judges even at the provincial court level earning in excess of $300,000 a year. So obviously, the qualifications have to be pretty high. First, you have to be a lawyer, and not just an ordinary lawyer, but a lawyer with a keen understanding of all aspects of the law. A judge also needs to be able to be far better than average at sorting through the facts and fiction that are presented during trials, to produce a judgment that is based on the truth. Some judges are pretty good at that. And some, well, you just have to wonder. But even the best of judges can be fooled, and justice is not served. What we need are judges who can’t be fooled. That means we need judges who always know what the truth is. That is why God is the perfect Judge, He always knows the truth, and His judgments, as our text declares, are always according to the truth.

The previous verse explains why man is unqualified to serve as judge in the heavenly realm. Man is guilty of all of the very crimes that must be judged. Man also cannot be trusted to be free of opinion, favouritism, or ignorance of the law. But God can! We can answer with a resounding ‘Amen’ when we hear Abraham’s great question: ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ Genesis 18:25 When we think of trials in the earthly realm, we see judges who have imperfect knowledge of each case. Because they have not seen the crimes themselves, they must depend upon the testimony of men, many of whom will lie even under oath. They hear testimony from both sides, and must determine which is the most credible account. I have sat in courtrooms where judges have asked their own questions of witnesses because they were not satisfied with the answers to questions posed by either the prosecutors or the defence lawyers. How different is the knowledge of God! He has personally witnessed every crime and every sin that has ever been committed. Because His knowledge is absolute, there is no question about either the facts or the motives. He knows perfectly, and therefore He can judge correctly in every case, including yours and mine.

An understanding of God’s knowledge and impartiality ought to fill each sinner with dread. How could we ever escape the judgment of such a holy and all-knowing God Whose laws we have all broken and mocked? We can’t. Not by ourselves. But the very God Who knows all about our sins and our helplessness is also a God of mercy. God’s justice was dispensed at Calvary, where One with no sin died for our sins. That is why Albert Midlane could pen the following lovely words: ‘God could not pass the sinner by, Justice demands that he should die; But in the cross of Christ we see How God can save, yet righteous be. The judgment fell on Jesus’ head, ‘Twas in His blood sin’s debt was paid; Stern Justice can demand no more, And Mercy can dispense her store.’

The judgment of God that is according to truth is a dreadful thing! The mercy of God that satisfies His judgment is a glorious truth! -Jim MacIntosh

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