“He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: “Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge.” Psalm 50:4–6
In my life I have several titles I carry and each of those define different aspect of the relationships I have with people. Father, husband, friend, pastor, brother, son, teacher, student, mentoree, employee, and the list could go on. Most of the time just a few of my titles define who I am and govern what I do but occasionally one of the more seldom accessed roles becomes for a short period of time the one that is most prominent.
I think the same thing is true for God. He’s God and that title is an umbrella that covers all the other titles that could be used to describe the different relationships he has with us. Most of the time just a few of these titles are needed to describe what he does for us. In a perfect world, on without sin and all its pain and injustice, God would need even few titles.
One title I think God wishes he could do without is the title of Judge. God is a great judge perfectly balancing mercy with the dictates of the law so that justice is truly established. But for God to have ever needed to step into the role of judge it required that someone, one of his beloved creation, become a sinner. Because we’ve chosen sin God had to become our judge and do everything a judge must do.
Psalm fifty is a psalm the celebrates God’s righteousness as a judge, and we can be truly thankful that God is a perfectly righteous judge. But we also need to recognize that we were the ones that made the choice that caused the world to need a judge in the first place. If God had been able to have what he wanted he would have never had to take up this role. The only relationships we would have ever had with him would have been Creator, Father, Provider, Sustainer, Lover, friend, King, glorious Lord, and many, many more but none of them would have ever been judge.
Jesus, the Son of God, came so that God could make a way so that he would have to rule over us as a judge. Jesus, with his own life, bought us forgiveness and if we’ll accept it God can rule over us in the judgment not as a judge but as a priest ministering mercy and pardon.
O God we’re thankful that you’re a thorough, righteous, and holy judge. Because you are we know that what ever judgment you make regarding us and those we love will will true and good. But Father, we’re sorry we ever forced you into the position where you would ever have needed to judge us. Thank you for sending Jesus so we could find forgiveness and so that you could stop having to be our judge and go back to being our Heavenly Father.