God either judges sin and sinners, or He doesn’t. We need to decide which is true. The thought of God’s judgment, if it is real, should terrify us. Yes, we believe as Christians that we have already been saved from it by Jesus, but believing that God will one day unleash the fury of His holy wrath against sin should cause us to stop, and to tremble. And the doctrine of the wrath of God is not something we can ignore, however we feel about it. The Psalms have a lot to say about God’s judgement, and a lot to make us examine our beliefs about it, too.
David believes that God judges, and it is the anchor for his sanity in the hard times of Psalms 9-11. In many places here we see David exulting in God’s justice, for example, 9.7-12, 10.16-18 and 11.7. Elsewhere we see him urging God to rise up in judgement, as in 9.19-20, and 10.12-15. He knows that if God is not a just and judging God, then the world has no hope, as in 11.1-3. Ps. 10 could be talking about the worst dictators, exploiters, killers, thieves, or even you and me, laid bare before the justice of God. No one who is wicked can stand before God’s judgement. That is a simple, biblical fact. Righteousness shall reign.
And yet, there are still those who profess to be Christians who deny these truths. Let’s face some questions, then:
If God does not judge sin, then why the cross of Christ? Without judgement, the cross is a mockery of God’s goodness: why would He allow His dear Son to die? Without judgement, the cross is a travesty of God’s justice: why does Jesus say He is dying to deal with sin, if God is not really concerned with sin? So if God does not judge, then Jesus misunderstood why He went to the cross (for example, at Mk. 10.45). Noone had told Him that God is not just. But if God is not just, then there is no morality anywhere in the universe. No human laws can ever give a moral framework to reality; the most they can do is to try and score some lines in the shifting sands of a random universe. And that is a terrifying and deeply depressing place to be in.
So people want a God who doesn’t punish sin? You can believe in one, but the price you pay is that your life has no purpose, and nor does anything in this world. It’s bleak, but it’s logical, and true. Praise God, though, that He does judge, because He is perfectly just. “He is righteous, He loves justice; upright men – those made upright through forgiveness and the righteousness of Christ – will see His face” (Ps. 11.7).