A Reigning Lord
“The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment.” Psalm 9:7
Think about the psalmist’s statement for a moment... the Lord reigns forever. 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 a picture of God’s holiness and righteousness. We see Him as 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 the earth.
In addition to His position of authority, we also see God as judge. In our culture, judgment is often viewed negatively. Many people, Christians included, 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. 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 standard...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 the righteous punishment for sin on Christ, making a way for men to be declared innocent and set free from the punishment we all deserve.
This doesn’t mean that there is no hell. 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 existence. 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.