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January 10, 2012 / Daniel

Psalm 98 (Joy to the World again)

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Today let’s look at the conclusion of Psalm 98.  Vv.  8-9.

Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

V. 9 announces the return of the King.  Creation joins in worship of the King, because the King returns.   “He comes to judge the earth.”   This statement could be good news or bad news.  It all depends on who you are and what’s your relationship to the King.  If you’re in a right relationship with the King, then this is good news.  But if you have a bad relationship with the King, then this is bad news.  The King’s return marks the defeat of his enemies and the salvation of all those who are loyal to the King.

When Jesus comes back, this world is going to be a different place.  The psalmist says, “He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.”   What stands out to me about this statement is that our world today is not characterized by righteousness.  It is not characterized by equity.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  Today this planet is filled with all kinds of sin and unrighteousness.  We live in a world where sin runs rampant and most of the time nothing is done about it. Sin does not just happen on an individual personal level, but it also happens on a global worldwide level.  Sin has often been institutionalized.

This world is a broken place and sin is everywhere around us.  That’s why verse 9 is scary for some people.  One day we will give an account for our lives in the presence of King Jesus.  And for those who don’t know Jesus, the thought of judgment should be terrifying.  If you have lived your life in opposition to King Jesus, then you can only expect to face eternal destruction away from the presence of our Lord.  The return of the King marks the end of rebellion.

However, if you know Jesus…if you are loyal to King Jesus, then his return is a good thing.  This is good news!  When the King returns, he’s going to fix this planet.  Jesus is going to raise the dead.  He will renew God’s creation.  He will defeat God’s enemies and establish God’s kingdom here on earth.  On that day, the curse of sin will be gone.

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