God is a righteous judge . . . The Lord is known by his justice ~ Psalm 7:11, 8:16
God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgement among “the gods” ~ Psalm 82:1
Many of us know God as the Father, Friend, or the Almighty and approach Him in this manner-and we correctly do so. However, the Bible and the Book of Psalms especially bring to light God as the Righteous Judge, who ‘will judge the world in righteousness, he will govern the people with justice’ (Psalms 9:8). So if God is the Judge, heaven is the courtroom, we the defendants, and Satan the prosecutor, ‘the accuser of our brethren, who accuses them before our God day and night’ (Revelation 12:10).
If God’s judicial system would end there, then we would not be acquitted, because we are all guilty by default. And God’s justice demands that only the holy and righteous can approach the ‘bench’. So, Satan, our prosecutor awaits us with a wide wicked grin because he knows we are helpless. But before a judgement can be made, someone unexpectedly storms in the courtroom. His name is Jesus, and says that He is our mediator and can make valid arguments to acquit us, to make us free, because He is holy. We say impossible! How can this be? Then He asks, haven’t you all read 1 Timothy 2:5-6? and quotes, ‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all’.
Oh right! It all now becomes clear and we are acquitted because we believe in Jesus. We do not have to be bound by Satan after all, who was eagerly awaiting to torment us. God the Judge declares us not guilty, and even writes our name in the Book of Life. Before we can skip away happily, Jesus beckons and tells us that not only are we saved, but we can through Him approach the Judge anytime. This is because the accuser will always try to torment us in one way or another. Really? Jesus smiles and asks, haven’t you guys read Hebrews? Before anyone can answer, Jesus replies, ‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16).
Jesus then explains that we can approach the Judge through prayers, which are petitions. When God hears the petitions, He rules everything to our favour and saves us from hardships, big and small alike. The timelines though are His discretion. As good as this sounds, we wonder what to say because we are not familiar with how to pray. Jesus knows our thoughts and quotes Romans 8:26, ‘We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will’. For some reason, Jesus emphasises in accordance with God’s will and we take note of that, but before we can think what the will of God is, we have other questions.
Jesus knowing our concerns assures us that we will be baptised ‘with the Holy Spirit and with fire’ (Matthew 3:11) since we believe in Him and desire it. He then assures us that we will speak in tongues, and that it’s not just for weirdos. We are now worried that we will not be understanding what we are telling God and so Jesus quotes 1 Corinthians 14:14, ‘For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind’. Jesus further explains that since now we are alive in our Spirit, prayer, the petitions we make to God profits and builds our spirit- and it ought to be so. But because our mind is still flesh, we have to ‘renew it’ (Romans 12:2) constantly through the Word so that as we ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions’ (Ephesians 6:18), our mind is at a posture that acknowledges the justice, holiness and righteousness of God, even as we are speaking in unknown tongues.
Jesus then concludes by giving us an example through the Bible, through God’s Word which David says of; ‘I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you’ (Psalms 119:11). Jesus explains to us that David had his mind at the right posture while petitioning God because he knew God’s Word, and so could petition God according to His will. In this way, his prayers were effective. Jesus then asks us to read the entire Bible and takes us through the Book of Psalms, Chapters 1-18 to glean how David petitioned God;
- Contrite heart and broken spirit– David shared his true heart, experiences of his sufferings, and admitted his weaknesses.
- Worships and prophesies– David does not linger long on his troubles but immediately proclaims God’s faithfulness and hand upon his life and based on that asks for another deliverance.
- Asserts– David asks for deliverance by asserting that God hears and that he waits in expectation knowing that God will act.
- Gives detail– David gives detail of the deeds of the wicked, what he stands for, and exactly what he wants God to do for him and for the wicked.
- Invokes God judgement– Asks God the Judge to consider his ways as he has not followed the ungodly, and asks God to expedite judgement on the wicked who are after his life, and declare them guilty.
- Increases his scope– David declares the degrading state of the world and offers supplication on behalf of people like him, asking God to come through for the righteous and show His concern toward the weak.
- Proclaims– David beseeches God to save him so that he can declare his goodness and praise him. He even goes as far as showing God that the dead cannot praise Him.
- Shows God’s holiness and justice- David knows what God stands for and so as He petitions, He asks God to come through lest his enemies rejoice. David knew that God regards His Name highly.
- Possess victory by faith- David puts trust in God and has unwavering faith that God will do what he requests.
- Restates and quotes God’s Word– In all His petitions, David asserts the Word of God, God’s qualities and likes, His wonders and His promises, and the frailty of man.
We now clearly see that David had a good mind-set about God, even in his struggles. He knew God and trusted Him and thus prayed the will of God- no wonder he is answered and God executes judgment. We also can’t help but notice the many prayers he made before the actual manifestation. Jesus smiles at us and whispers, ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and recounts of the Parable of the Persistent Widow he told his disciples. He repeats the same statement He made years ago, ‘And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly’ (Luke 18:7-8).
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice ~ Psalm 11:7
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war ~ Revelation 19:11