Did you know that when God's judgments are manifested throughout the earth or even in an individual's life that there are two statements that are repeatedly accentuated? What are they? That there is a God and He is a rewarder of the righteous.
Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying - "Surely He is a God Who judges in the earth. By the sight of the final judgment, all will be forced to see that there is a God and that He is the righteous ruler of the universe. Two things will be clear; there is a God, and there is a reward for the righteous. Time will remove doubts, solve difficulties, and reveal secrets. Even now the foreseeing eye of faith discerns the truth and is glad."
Matthew Henry adds this comment - "He is a God (so we read it), not a weak man, not an angel, not a mere name, not (as the atheists suggest) a creature of men's fear and fancy, not a deified hero, not the sun and moon, as idolaters imagined, but a God, a self-existent perfect Being; He it is that judges the earth; His favour therefore let us seek, from Whom every man's judgment proceeds, and to Him let all judgment be referred."
There is a God.
In Psalm 105:7, we read this profound statement - "He is the LORD our God: His judgments are in all the earth."
He is Yahweh...unchangeable, self-existing, self-sufficient Jehovah Who fulfills every one of His promises and never forsakes His own. His is an irresistible power and an incontestable sovereignty. He alone is Lord over all.
"His judgments are in all the earth."
In other words, in every part of the land, one can witness His institutions, laws, authority, and worship. In matchless wisdom, He governs the entire world - giving laws to all nations. The earth is filled with the proofs of His power.
In Revelation 15:4, we witness the cries of those who "had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name..." (Revelation 15:2) saying - "Who shall not fear Thee, O LORD, and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest."
"Thy judgments are made manifest."
What is being emphasized at this time?
That there is a God. "He is the LORD our God." And He is worthy of our reverence, adoration, awe, honor, and dread. He is to be acknowledged as the Great Ruler of the universe. His works are great and His judgments are both "true and righteous" (Revelation 16:7; 19:2). His sentences of doom and decisions of punishment are just... His calamities are deserved and in perfect accordance with His infinite Justice...His "judgments" are "true" - ideal, real, and genuine - and "righteous" - displaying no prejudice or partiality whatsoever. He supports His followers and renders due punishment to His enemies.
"Who shall not fear" Him Who "only art holy?" In comparison to Him, there is none so holy. His judgments bring that out. They emphasize that He is a God Who indeed hates sin and loves righteousness and truth. At the discovery of His truth and justice, all mankind is beckoned to - "come and worship before Thee" - prostrate themselves at His feet.
Besides "fearing Him" in the time of judgment, in Isaiah 26:9, we see that men begin to seek after Him rather than the things of this world. They get their priorities right. This - in turn - causes them to "learn righteousness" - "With my soul have I desired Thee in the night: yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
The design of God's "judgments" is to warn, restrain, and reform mankind. Unfortunately, not all people during this time turn to Him and become righteous. But at least their sinful activity is restrained and their plans and objectives upset and hindered.
For the righteous, it is a time of rejoicing to see His mighty power manifested and His glories displayed in their midst -
Psalm 48:11 says - "Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Thy judgments."
Psalm 97:8 says - "Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of Thy judgments, O LORD."
God's favor is shown to His people in turning their captivity. Once and for all, they are delivered from all oppression while their enemies meet with utter ruin and destruction. Justice has been served, and the saints are glad to see it.
Psalm 58:11 definitively states - "So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily He is a God that judgeth in the earth."
Once again, we emphasize that in the time of judgment, God has something very important to say. His message is this -
I am the Lord God Who judges in the earth. I do not withhold judgment until a certain day. I am executing it in the here and now. I am a Just Being Who presides over the affairs of men. I am the one and only Righteous Ruler of the universe. The course of affairs is not left to chance, fate, or physical laws. I preside over all. I have a purpose and a plan of Mine own. I conduct a Moral Government whereby righteousness is rewarded and evil is condemned and judged. I favor holiness and oppose sin. In My judgments, men will be forced to recognize that there is a God and I am He.
What are you experiencing today?
God's favor or wrath and judgment?
The Prophet Isaiah told us that the people began to earnestly seek the Lord when His judgments were in the land. They began to "learn righteousness" or live according to His Word.
What is it going to take for the present-day Church to live holily in the midst of a sinful and adulterous generation? Does she need for God to pour out His judgments as a holy incentive or cause to seek Him in holiness and truth?
Let's not forget - 1 Peter 4:17 warns us that "...judgment must begin at the house of God..."
If the Church won't get the message in the day of favor, then she will have no other choice than to learn it in the time of judgment.
There is a God Who judges in the earth. And He surely rewards the righteous and punishes those who continue to live in sin - no matter what they label themselves - Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of God, Nazarene, Oneness, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Nondenominational, etc.
We can "learn righteousness" the easy way or the hard way. But - be assured of this one thing - we will learn it one way or another.
It pays to live according to God's laws. Be sure to remember that the next time you are tempted to compromise or sin.