to bring JUSTICE
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Judgment is needed for justice. When we think of justice, we think about things that are unfair or untruthful being made fair and right. We think about a criminal being held accountable, but we also think about the poor being fed. There is also a sense of personal justice in which we will try to justify ourselves. We will gauge our productivity or morality and assume we deserve something because of it. We will then judge or measure others behaviors and attempt to defend ourselves. In all cases, a judge must determine that something unfair has taken place and then rectify it.
Paul is making the point that as a Christian there is no need to play judge because we have a judge that will reveal every hidden motive and purpose of the heart. When Jesus appears for that final time, so will truth and fairness. This means criminals will be prosecuted, the poor will feast, and every person will see that they were completely unable to earn any standing with God. No amount of goodness, status, success, or money garnered favor with him. Those who stand before him will only be those who have believed that the blood of Jesus covers them completely.
This means that although there is every reason for the justice of God to destroy us, it instead has destroyed Jesus. We now walk free not because of our own record of obedience, but because we have inherited his. When Jesus comes he will bring justice, and we will celebrate him as the only one worthy of administering it. How can I be an aid to justice until God brings it completely?
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.
Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Find a quiet place and ask the holy spirit to speak to you through this psalm.
Read through the psalm once, taking care to slow down and soak in the passage.
Re-read it once or twice more as if you were there listening to it as it was being written in its original context. Put yourself in the Psalmist’s shoes and take notice of what phrases or concepts are standing out to you.
Continue to “chew on” the text while pondering the pieces that The holy spirit has brought to mind.
Have a conversation with God about what you’ve been reflecting on in this psalm. take advantage that the God of the universe has made a way through Jesus to be in a relationship with you and he loves to spend time with you, speaking to you, hearing from you, healing you, teaching you.
End your time with a moment of quietness, where you rest in the goodness of God, grateful for his word and presence with you.