God is a God of Justice
Take a moment to think of what awes you about God. Worship him for who he is.
Read Psalm 99
1 The Lord reigns,
let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake.
2 Great is the Lord in Zion;
he is exalted over all the nations.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name—
he is holy.
4 The King is mighty, he loves justice—
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
what is just and right.
5 Exalt the Lord our God
and worship at his footstool;
he is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
8 Lord our God,
you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
though you punished their misdeeds.
9 Exalt the Lord our God
and worship at his holy mountain,
for the Lord our God is holy.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you find that you are personally able to rejoice, like the psalmist, that God “loves justice” (4)?
The fact of God’s holiness is at the core of what the psalmist wants to say repeatedly about God (3,5,9). But what does that mean? Certainly that God is sinless and perfect, and that he is far above any expression of what is wrong.
Added to this, the psalm opens with a picture of God very like that of a judge, sitting enthroned and in control, even in judgment. We are told that he loves justice and fairness (4) and that his actions towards Israel have borne this out (4,8). Though he had to punish Israel occasionally, his more normal characteristic is that he is forgiving, and many of us would want to add that he is full of mercy.
Today we are very comfortable with the idea of a forgiving and merciful God, but some of us hesitate to celebrate or even accept his just and punishing side. The whole idea of judgment is something we tend to struggle with, though it is very difficult to see how you can have forgiveness and mercy without at some point encountering justice and judgment. Why do you think this may be?
Do you find that the preceding psalms all seem to be about singing a new song? What is different about today’s psalm?
Holy God, I bow before You today. I am humbled in Your presence. May I exalt You today in everything I do.