Summary: A study in Psalm 43: 1 – 5
Psalm 43: 1 – 5
The True and Honest Judge
1 Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2 For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; And on the harp, I will praise You, O God, my God. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
If you have watched the news lately you daily come across corrupt justice. People who should be brought to account for their crimes are overlooked while innocent individuals are the top stories. What happened to proper judgment?
The prophet Isaiah reported in chapter 33: 22, “For the LORD Is our Judge, The LORD Is our Lawgiver, The LORD Is our King; He will save us. Our Great God Is the True and Honest Perfect Judge.
People call the church and ask, “What does the Bible say about when God will judge us?"
There are two separate judgments. Believers are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ as Romans 14: 10 – 12 points out, “10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
Every believer will give an account of himself, and the Lord will judge the decisions he made—including those concerning issues of conscience. This judgment does not determine salvation, which is by faith alone Ephesians 2: 8 - 9, “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Rather it is the time when believers must give an account of their lives in service to Christ. Our position in Christ is the “foundation” spoken of in 1 Corinthians 3: 11 – 15, “11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” That which we build upon the foundation can be the “gold, silver, and precious stones” of good works in Christ’s name, obedience and fruitfulness—dedicated spiritual service to glorify God and build the church. Or what we build on the foundation may be the “wood, hay and stubble” of worthless, frivolous, shallow activity with no spiritual value. The Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal this.”
The gold, silver, and precious stones in the lives of believers will survive God’s refining fire (v. 13), and believers will be rewarded based on those good works—how faithfully we served Christ 1 Corinthians 9: 24 – 27, “24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”, how well we obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, “18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”), how victorious we were over sin (Romans 6:1-4, “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”), how well we controlled our tongues (James 3:1-9, “1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.”