Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, …Where is the God of judgment? Malachi 2:17
Yahweh. His name implies His character, and as multifaceted and far-reaching as He is, our Father has revealed Himself to us in all the perfection and simplicity of His truth. In His Word, He has made manifest to our hearts and minds the things of Him, that we may be the favored partakers of such God-likeness in our own characters once His Word is found hidden in our hearts. (John 10:34; Psalm 82:6; Colossians 1:12)
In this study we are going to look into the judgements of God. Many find it a point to make sense of God according to humanity and not according to His Word, leading to conclusions which many bring themselves to make about God, His character, and His workings on our behalf. It’s usually assumed that if God is loving, then He cannot be just; or if He is just, then He cannot be loving. According to the Bible, He is both. In fact, it hurts Him when we think and speak as if He is limited to love without justice, or in any way indifferent to evil. (Malachi 2:17)
As God has given us His Word, we will not add or diminish from it, and we will be using Solo Scriptura as our rule and mindset in this study.
FOR WHEN YE WERE THE SERVANTS OF SIN, YE WERE FREE FROM RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHAT FRUIT HAD YE THEN IN THOSE THINGS WHEREOF YE ARE NOW ASHAMED? FOR THE END OF THOSE THINGS IS DEATH. BUT NOW BEING MADE FREE FROM SIN, AND BECOME SERVANTS TO GOD, YE HAVE YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, AND THE END EVERLASTING LIFE. FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. ROMANS 6:20-23
When we live free of repentance and in sin, we are not bound by righteousness—we are not God’s, we are the world’s. (John 17:9) And as long as we remain in that way, we have no lasting blessing since everything of this world shall all pass away, or as the verse implies, ends in ‘death’. It follows that the only compensation for choosing sin is death, as opposed to the compensation for choosing the gift which God is able to give us through His Son of eternal life, full of true joy, peace, and love which is above this world.
SEE, I HAVE SET BEFORE THEE THIS DAY LIFE AND GOOD, AND DEATH AND EVIL; IN THAT I COMMAND THEE THIS DAY TO LOVE THE LORD THY GOD, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS AND HIS STATUTES AND HIS JUDGMENTS, THAT THOU MAYEST LIVE AND MULTIPLY: AND THE LORD THY GOD SHALL BLESS THEE IN THE LAND WHITHER THOU GOEST TO POSSESS IT. BUT IF THINE HEART TURN AWAY, SO THAT THOU WILT NOT HEAR, BUT SHALT BE DRAWN AWAY, AND WORSHIP OTHER GODS, AND SERVE THEM; I DENOUNCE UNTO YOU THIS DAY, THAT YE SHALL SURELY PERISH, AND THAT YE SHALL NOT PROLONG YOUR DAYS UPON THE LAND, WHITHER THOU PASSEST OVER JORDAN TO GO TO POSSESS IT. I CALL HEAVEN AND EARTH TO RECORD THIS DAY AGAINST YOU, THAT I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING: THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH THOU AND THY SEED MAY LIVE: THAT THOU MAYEST LOVE THE LORD THY GOD, AND THAT THOU MAYEST OBEY HIS VOICE, AND THAT THOU MAYEST CLEAVE UNTO HIM: FOR HE IS THY LIFE, AND THE LENGTH OF THY DAYS: THAT THOU MAYEST DWELL IN THE LAND WHICH THE LORD SWARE UNTO THY FATHERS, TO ABRAHAM, TO ISAAC, AND TO JACOB, TO GIVE THEM. DEUTERONOMY 30:15-20
AND DEATH SHALL BE CHOSEN RATHER THAN LIFE BY ALL THE RESIDUE OF THEM THAT REMAIN OF THIS EVIL FAMILY, WHICH REMAIN IN ALL THE PLACES WHITHER I HAVE DRIVEN THEM, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS. JEREMIAH 8:3
AS RIGHTEOUSNESS TENDETH TO LIFE: SO HE THAT PURSUETH EVIL PURSUETH IT TO HIS OWN DEATH. PROVERBS 11:19
FOR TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE. ROMANS 8:6
AND ENOCH ALSO, THE SEVENTH FROM ADAM, PROPHESIED OF THESE, SAYING, BEHOLD, THE LORD COMETH WITH TEN THOUSANDS OF HIS SAINTS, TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON ALL, AND TO CONVINCE ALL THAT ARE UNGODLY AMONG THEM OF ALL THEIR UNGODLY DEEDS WHICH THEY HAVE UNGODLY COMMITTED, AND OF ALL THEIR HARD SPEECHES WHICH UNGODLY SINNERS HAVE SPOKEN AGAINST HIM. JUDE 1:14-15
Now the Word expands on choosing. We choose our compensation, we have the freedom of free-will, and the judgements we receive for our actions and choices—whether they be good or whether they be evil—don’t come upon us by random chance or by some external force or being; it is Yahweh who gives them to us by our choosing, for He is the Lawgiver and Judge (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12). Our Father doesn’t want purchased affection, He wants our hearts to sincerely love and adore Him. So, He gives us the option to choose what we want and He will set it before us. He is completely honest with and doesn’t hide anything. He directly tells us that ultimately He will be the one giving us either life, goodness, and blessings, or death, evil, and curses. This does not make Him less loving if we ask for ultimate evil and He gives it to us, for clearly it is not His desire by the earnest plea to “choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” But He cannot allow those who choose evil to dwell continually in it and destroy those who have chosen righteousness and His protection against evil for their lives. He gave His Son to save those who hate sin and evil, and those who love it will not be allowed to ruin that sacred salvation.
O THAT THERE WERE SUCH AN HEART IN THEM, THAT THEY WOULD FEAR ME, AND KEEP ALL MY COMMANDMENTS ALWAYS, THAT IT MIGHT BE WELL WITH THEM, AND WITH THEIR CHILDREN FOR EVER! DEUTERONOMY 5:29
IF YE THEN, BEING EVIL, KNOW HOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFTS UNTO YOUR CHILDREN, HOW MUCH MORE SHALL YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN GIVE GOOD THINGS TO THEM THAT ASK HIM? MATTHEW 7:11
THOU LOVEST RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND HATEST WICKEDNESS: THEREFORE GOD, THY GOD, HATH ANOINTED THEE WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE THY FELLOWS. PSALM 45:7
NOW WHEN I PASSED BY THEE, AND LOOKED UPON THEE, …I SPREAD MY SKIRT OVER THEE, AND COVERED THY NAKEDNESS: YEA, I SWARE UNTO THEE, AND ENTERED INTO A COVENANT WITH THEE, SAITH THE LORD GOD, AND THOU BECAMEST MINE. THEN WASHED I THEE WITH WATER; YEA, I THROUGHLY WASHED AWAY THY BLOOD FROM THEE, AND I ANOINTED THEE WITH OIL. I CLOTHED THEE ALSO WITH BROIDERED WORK, AND SHOD THEE WITH BADGERS' SKIN, AND I GIRDED THEE ABOUT WITH FINE LINEN, AND I COVERED THEE WITH SILK. I DECKED THEE ALSO WITH ORNAMENTS, AND I PUT BRACELETS UPON THY HANDS, AND A CHAIN ON THY NECK. AND I PUT A JEWEL ON THY FOREHEAD, AND EARRINGS IN THINE EARS, AND A BEAUTIFUL CROWN UPON THINE HEAD. THUS WAST THOU DECKED WITH GOLD AND SILVER; AND THY RAIMENT WAS OF FINE LINEN, AND SILK, AND BROIDERED WORK; THOU DIDST EAT FINE FLOUR, AND HONEY, AND OIL: AND THOU WAST EXCEEDING BEAUTIFUL, AND THOU DIDST PROSPER INTO A KINGDOM. AND THY RENOWN WENT FORTH AMONG THE HEATHEN FOR THY BEAUTY: FOR IT WAS PERFECT THROUGH MY COMELINESS, WHICH I HAD PUT UPON THEE, SAITH THE LORD GOD. EZEKIEL 16:8-14
From these verses of His Word, how can anyone so condemn themselves to think that Yahweh is not love? He is so full of love for His precious creations that He desires only the very best things to give them. He is ready and waiting to anoint with gladness those who make themselves like Him through the merits of His Son whom He has given them. It pleases His great heart to do good unto us, to clothe our nakedness, to cleanse us from the filth which this world puts on us.
AND HE THAT KILLETH ANY MAN SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH. LEVITICUS 24:17
FOR GOD COMMANDED, SAYING, HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER: AND, HE THAT CURSETH FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM DIE THE DEATH. MATTHEW 15:4
AND HE THAT SMITETH HIS FATHER, OR HIS MOTHER, SHALL BE SURELY PUT TO DEATH. AND HE THAT STEALETH A MAN, AND SELLETH HIM, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS HAND, HE SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH. AND HE THAT CURSETH HIS FATHER, OR HIS MOTHER, SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH. EXODUS 21:15, 17
But He makes no sacrifice on His beloved for those who choose to be an abomination to such love. As Christ has even said, He gives good things, but only to them that ask for it. (Matthew 7:11) What does that make Him then if He compensates the wicked according to their actions and choices? Using an example, Leviticus says that a murderer (which is the original Hebrew meaning for ‘killeth’ in the text) shall be put to death. By killing and shedding innocent blood, the murderer has chosen death as his compensation. Does this make the judge who passes the judgement of death on him a murderer and worthy of death too? Absolutely not, for the one guilty of innocent blood is worthy of death and has chosen it according to the system established by the judge, so he is choosing it for himself and the judge is abiding within the system of protectionby giving him what he has chosen. Christ Himself abides by this law—this system of just protection and this transcript of His Father’s character—by condoning the death sentence of another statute found in Exodus. This does not in any way lessen the loving nature of the Father and His Son, rather, it confirms it as they have covenanted to love and protect and bless their beloved who have chosen them.
FOR AS THE FATHER RAISETH UP THE DEAD, AND QUICKENETH THEM; EVEN SO THE SON QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL. FOR THE FATHER JUDGETH NO MAN, BUT HATH COMMITTED ALL JUDGMENT UNTO THE SON. JOHN 5:21-22
FOR THE LORD IS OUR JUDGE, THE LORD IS OUR LAWGIVER, THE LORD IS OUR KING; HE WILL SAVE US. ISAIAH 33:22
THERE IS ONE LAWGIVER, WHO IS ABLE TO SAVE AND TO DESTROY: WHO ART THOU THAT JUDGEST ANOTHER? JAMES 4:12
Often, within the view of a loving God-figure who does not Himself participate in acts of justice, is the belief that there is no actual judgement accomplished directly by Him or His only-begotten Son, who works at the right hand of His Father. A simple and unassuming study of the Scriptures, however, shows how unbiblical this belief really is.
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. REVELATION 15:4
AND THE THIRD ANGEL FOLLOWED THEM, SAYING WITH A LOUD VOICE, IF ANY MAN WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND RECEIVE HIS MARK IN HIS FOREHEAD, OR IN HIS HAND, THE SAME SHALL DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD, WHICH IS **POURED OUT** WITHOUT MIXTURE INTO THE CUP OF HIS INDIGNATION; AND HE SHALL BE TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB: AND THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDETH UP FOR EVER AND EVER: AND THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND WHOSOEVER RECEIVETH THE MARK OF HIS NAME. REVELATION 14:9-11
THEREFORE SHALL HER PLAGUES COME IN ONE DAY, DEATH, AND MOURNING, AND FAMINE; AND SHE SHALL BE UTTERLY BURNED WITH FIRE: FOR STRONG IS THE LORD GOD WHO JUDGETH HER. REVELATION 18:8
AND I HEARD A GREAT VOICE OUT OF THE TEMPLE SAYING TO THE SEVEN ANGELS, GO YOUR WAYS, AND **POUR OUT** THE VIALS OF THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE EARTH. REVELATION 16:1
AND WHEN THE THOUSAND YEARS ARE EXPIRED, SATAN SHALL BE LOOSED OUT OF HIS PRISON, AND SHALL GO OUT TO DECEIVE THE NATIONS WHICH ARE IN THE FOUR QUARTERS OF THE EARTH, GOG, AND MAGOG, TO GATHER THEM TOGETHER TO BATTLE: THE NUMBER OF WHOM IS AS THE SAND OF THE SEA. AND THEY WENT UP ON THE BREADTH OF THE EARTH, AND COMPASSED THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS ABOUT, AND THE BELOVED CITY: AND FIRE CAME DOWN **FROM GOD** OUT OF HEAVEN, AND DEVOURED THEM. AND THE DEVIL THAT DECEIVED THEM WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, WHERE THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET ARE, AND SHALL BE TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT FOR EVER AND EVER. REVELATION 20:7-10
The God of the Bible freely gives humanity two ultimate choices affecting their own end and final compensation for their thoughts, words, and actions—basically, to love evil or to love good, and what that means in the deepest sense. The Bible has also declared God to be the Judge and Lawgiver and King, both supremely and ultimately. Now, to put this into perspective, the Bible also showcases these attributes of His character. As the name denotes, Revelation portrays a beautiful revelation of the character of God, specifically as He carefully and lovingly protects His people through His own just actions of recompense which He directs toward those who have chosen evil instead of good. His judgements are beautiful to His people, because of the confirmation they provide in attesting to God’s love for them. (Revelation 6:9; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 15:4) His warnings go out to those who choose evil again and again, and even so close to the end He is still willing to grant repentance to those who would otherwise have chosen His righteous indignation. (Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 18:8; Revelation 16) Indeed, the actions of just punishment do come directly **from God** Himself, and in His Word He would not have us to think otherwise. (Revelation 20:9)
BUT IF OUR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS COMMEND THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, WHAT SHALL WE SAY? IS GOD UNRIGHTEOUS WHO TAKETH VENGEANCE? (I SPEAK AS A MAN) GOD FORBID: FOR THEN HOW SHALL GOD JUDGE THE WORLD? ROMANS 3:5-6
FOR THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN AGAINST ALL UNGODLINESS AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS OF MEN, WHO HOLD THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS…WHO KNOWING THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, THAT THEY WHICH COMMIT SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, BUT HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM. ROMANS 1:18, 32
Our Father has a character, and it is so lofty and different from our own natural characters that it is usually hard for us to grasp. His love for us and His desires for us to prosper and be in constant well-being is so far-reaching. To those who choose Him, His actions are a constant rebuke to the scoffer who says that His love is vain; for His abhorrence and ultimate vengeance against the mockers of His people is the strongest testimony of His love and protection for them. God loves, protects, gives life, takes away life, directs punishment, and demands a holy fear. All of this He does justly and without respect of persons, according to what we ask from Him.
Additional verses for contemplation and prayer, relating to the issue of whether or not the God of the Bible is a just judge and the director of His wrath, righteous indignation, and punishment to the wicked.