Praising God for…What?!
A few years ago I heard Pastor Glen Johnson say something along these lines: “As a human, I don’t want anyone to go to hell, but as a Christian I realize that I must be thankful for everything God has planned. Therefore, I must praise God for His judgment.” I’ve got to confess that I thought the guy was off his rocker, but remembered his point as I read Psalm 7 recently.
6. Arise, O LORD, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
9. Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
12. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
he has bent and readied his bow;
13. he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
David spends most of the Psalm talking of God’s vengeance on the wicked then ends by praising God for his righteousness. We often focus on God’s mercy rather than His judgment but David praised the judgment of the wicked as a key part of His righteousness. How righteous could God be if He did not deal with wrongdoing?
I have been guilty of wishing that people wouldn’t have to suffer for their sins and that sinners could escape punishment, but that would be contrary to God’s righteous nature. After all, what reward is there is serving God if there is no punishment for disobeying Him? Too often we praise God for things like love, protection, and guidance while ignoring the rest of His attributes. I, like David, want to praise God for exactly who He is—a righteous God who judges those He determines deserve it.