If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
Mark 13:1–2; 2 Corinthians 13:11–14; Psalm 94; and 1 Kings 6:1–8:21 comprise our reading list for today. And of special note is the 1st part of Psalm 94:10 – which reads: “He who disciplines the nations, does He not rebuke?” Does God discipline the nations, and not just individuals? That’s our key topic today on Through the Word in 2020 – and I’m Reid Ferguson.
Modern Christianity, especially in the US in our generation, is almost completely focused on the individual. Make no mistake, God does deal individually with souls. As Paul preached in Athens, God “commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed.” And he leaves no question as to who is being referred to here – it is Jesus Christ – the judge whom God raised from the dead. Jesus Himself told us that on the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless word they speak. (Matt. 12:36) All of this shows just how individually responsible we all are – and how salvation itself is individual in that each of us is responsible to hear and believe the Gospel.
While all of that is true, what other Scriptures remind us of, is that God deals with nations as well as with individuals. That much we get pretty easily especially as we read of God’s judgments against various nations recorded in the Old Testament prophets, and in the book of Revelation.
But what does that look like? On what basis are the nations – each nation – to be judged? Verse 20 of Psalm 94 gives at least one aspect, and it is a stunner. Psalm 94:20-21
Zero in on verse 20 for just a minute. The question is, is it even possible to conceive that wicked rulers – government leaders can be allied with the purposes of God (as in consciously furthering righteousness and the Gospel) when they “frame injustice by statute”? In other words, when they make laws which legalize and further sin.
Easy divorce for any reason.
Same sex marriage.
Laws that protect rights of criminals above the innocent.
Laws that allow the wealthy and the well-connected to hide from prosecution.
A legal system that can be gamed by the savvy – and who can use it as a club against others.
Laws which are unequally applied on racial grounds.
That allow governments to trample on the individual or make performance of some regulations so onerous as to be impossible to comply with.
In our state, legalized gambling that directly targets the needy and those least able to afford it and most to be victimized by it.
Laws that oppress those who would seek to serve Christ, read His Bible, preach His Gospel or otherwise live for Him openly – whether in this country and certainly in a number of others around the world.
The lists could grow and grow and grow. And one wonders – will anyone ultimately be held responsible for such things? And the resounding answer is YES!
Once again we repeat vs. 10a “He who disciplines the nations, does He not rebuke?”
What a word of caution again to all those in leadership, be it civil or ecclesiastical. Framing injustice by statute, making laws which protect and “legalize” wicked actions, will not be ignored. God will judge.
I believe that in America right now, He IS judging.
Let that sink into your soul today Beloved. There is no immunity from this.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.