Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments. Psalm 48:11
There are numerous references in Psalms to rejoicing because of God’s judgments. But today, we’re less excited.
The word judgment in relation to God tends to have the connotation of punishment. The Psalmists wanted to see the wicked punished, the oppressed set free and righteousness restored. They wanted to see God’s justice and when they did, they rejoiced. It’s important to remember they weren’t desiring someone’s downfall because of personal vengeance. Rather they took God’s perspective.
Paul writes, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Wickedness means many live with violence, poverty and abuse. This is an abomination to God’s holiness and justice. God’s people want to see the world put right. We want to see God do, “what he said he’d do”, which is how the Message Bible translates the second half of the verse.
We can trust God to do what he says. God is fair, God is just, God is righteous. He keeps his word. Ultimately his judgments will come to pass. This ought to fill us with hope and security, and thus rejoicing. We won’t always live in a broken world where so many live with the devastating effects of sin. We won’t always live with the menace of evil hanging over our world. A new world is coming and in the final battle God defeats all iniquity, and then there will be justice.
As Christians we have nothing to fear from God’s judgment because Christ has already borne all our sin, so we’re free to rejoice that God is just, righteous and holy.