As Christians today we talk a lot about the love and grace of God, but we don’t talk much about him being the holy Judge — that seems scary or harsh to us. And yet repeatedly, the Psalmist rejoices that the Lord is the Judge. He approaches God’s judgment seat not with fear or shame, but with eager confidence, trusting that the Lord will accept him and set everything right.
From the Psalmist I have learned to rely on the Lord as the Righteous Judge so that I don’t fear the criticisms and condemnations of people. I’ve also learned from the Psalmist that when I feel angry over being mistreated in some way that instead of defending myself, striking back, or getting resentful I can approach the Lord on his throne, be honest about how I feel, and count on his judgments prevailing.
Psalms 96 to 99 are prayers in which the Psalmist joins all of creation in rejoicing that the Lord is the Judge. I have found that I appreciate these Psalms more when I am being misjudged or mistreated in some way!
“Rejoice! The Lord is Judge” is a prayer poem I wrote inspired by Psalms 96 to 99. I wrote it to help me pray when I was feeling angry. I had served the Lord in a difficult situation and was repeatedly slandered, insulted, and financially mistreated. With the Psalmist I found peace — and the strength to pray for those who persecuted me as Jesus taught us to do (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-28).
Rejoice! The Lord is Judge
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and his holy arm
Have worked salvation for him.
The heavens shine forth his righteousness
And all the people see his glory.
The fields are jubilant with harvest;
The Lord gives food to the hungry.
The trees of the forest sing for joy,
The rivers clap their applause,
The seas resound with waves of praise,
For the Lord judges the world in righteousness.
The mountains stand in honor;
All creation is a chorus of worship.
The Lord is the righteous Judge
And he speaks from the clouds above.
Fear not the judgments of people;
Call on the Lord and listen.
Love the Lord and hate revenge
For he guards the lives of his faithful ones.
(Inspired by Psalm 96-99)
Does Jesus’ teaching on “Turn the other cheek” confuse or trouble you? Many people I talk to have difficulty with this so I wrote “Jesus Jujitsu: the Power to Turn the Other Cheek.”
What does Jesus teach about dealing with anger? Read the examples I researched in the Bible: “Jesus’ Way of Dealing with Anger.”