The Judgment of God

In this World – government God is revealed as wise, powerful and holy (Isaiah 40: 12-14, Ps. 104: 1-9, 10-24, 25-32, 33-35 respectively).  In the matter of theodicy, as in the concluding chapter of Job, there is no escape from the rigour of biblical theism.  Human logic cannot justify its desire to explain experience by supposing that God can err, or fail, or pass false judgment. Within this attributes of God displayed in His World-rule, holiness predominates and qualifies all the others.  This is, of course, equally true of the whole revelation of God given in Scripture.
Man’s life on earth is automatically lived out under the scrutiny of this divine holiness and this is seen in the realms of nature and history.  As to the former, what we call the “forces” of nature reflect the conditions prevailing between Man and God, because natural forces derive their energies from God.  Thus thorns and thistles follow on the first sin (Gen. 3: 17 b).  In the same way, Israel doctrine of prosperity differed diametrically from that of surrounding paganism.  To the Canaanites prosperity, defined in agricultural terms, depended on the capricious activity of Baal who could be enticed in action only by magic.  The moral holiness of God which rules the world requires the moral obedience of man.  From their holiness of God and moral obedience, the acts of God in the Old Testament and New Testament have been clearly seen.

During the Old Testament Times
 During the Old Testament Times, we can see how God had shown His mercy by issuing the “Covenants” first and then the “Laws” for the children of Israel to follow and be blessed.  Exodus 19: 4-6 says, “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.  Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenants, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.  Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites”.  The first and foremost covenant condition is to remain holy by the nation of Israel.  This condition is repeated with no uncertain terms.  God said to Moses, speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them; “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19: 1-2).  For Israel to be holy, God specially pointed to worshiping idols.  Leviticus 19: 4 says, “Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves.  I am the Lord your God”.  But Israel sinned for making the golden calf by themselves and worshiped it (Exod. 32).  For this sin God judged them by sending the plague (Exod. 32: 5).  The second judgment received by Israel during their journey was for indulging in sexual immorality with Moabite women and taking part in sacrifices to their gods (Numb. 25: 1-3).  This brought 24,000 deaths to Israel.  After coming to Promised Land, the people turn to idolatry.  They completely forget their merciful God.  Hence God send His messengers.  They brought the word of God.
Hosea – The message was for the wayward people of northern kingdom – Israel.  God loves his sinful people but the judgment was imminent for their sins.
Joel – To warn Judah of God’s impending judgment because of its sins and urge the people turn back to God.
Amos – To pronounce God’s judgment upon Israel, the northern kingdom, for its complacency, idolatry and oppression of the poor.
Obadiah – To said that God would destroyed Edom as punishment for standing by when Babylon invaded Judah.
Micah – God will judge the false prophets, dishonest leaders, and selfish priests in Israel and Judah.
The most explicit Old Testament judgment of God is given by Daniel in his prayer to God for the forgiveness of his people.  Daniel 9: 13, “Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favour of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth”.  Thus it is seen that God judged Israel – both northern kingdom and southern kingdom by sending foreign invaders and they became captive.  More over God judged Edom, Assyria, and Babylonians for their aggressive treatment to his people Israel during their despondency.

During the New Testament Times
In the New Testament period, the merciful God judged Israel/Jews first for their unbelieving the living God but practice the modified laws of Moses called the Laws of the Elders or the principalities of the Laws.  There had been no God – sent prophets for 400 years since the days of Malachi.  There was growing anticipation that a great prophet, or the Messiah mentioned in the Old Testament, would soon come (Luke 3: 15), Joel 2: 28, Malachi 3: 1; 4: 5.
When John burst onto the scene, the people were exited.  Some in fact, thought John himself was the Messiah.  John spoke like the prophets of old, saying that the people must turn from their sin to avoid punishment and turn to God to experience his mercy and approval.  John’s baptism with water symbolized the washing away of sins.  John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus (Mark 1: 3).  Jesus came at a time in history when the entire civilized world was relatively peaceful under Roman Rule, travel was easy and there was a common language.  The news about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection could spread quickly throughout the vast Roman Empire.  In Israel, common people (Poor men and women) were ready to receive Jesus as their savior and Messiah.  But the Jews religious leaders – the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes and the Sanhedrim Council members challenged the proclaimed Son of God, Jesus Christ.  This brought the main sin of the New Testament Times.  They believe in their laws but not God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They crucified him on the cross.  The Son of God, Jesus, judged the nation Israel and the people of Jerusalem by not believing the Son of God, Mathew 23: 37-39 says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her children under her wings, but you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.  Jerusalem was doomed for judgment and it came in 70 A.D and also in 132-135 A.D.  The nation of Israel was destroyed.  In the gospel of Mark, the disciples were appreciating the magnificent of the buildings in Jerusalem but Jesus replied and said, “Do you see all these great buildings”?  Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (Mark 13: 2).  On the way to Calvary, a large number of people including women were following him and mourned for him.  Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.  For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breast that never nursed”!  and to the hills, “cover us” ! (Luke 23: 27-30).  This was fulfilled 40 years after his death.  It was destroyed by the Roman soldiers under the command of General Titus.
While many receive the gospel, about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, specially the Gentles through the apostles, the Jews of Old Testament believers did not come forward.  They were the main obstacles of the gospel of Christ.  So the judgment came upon them.
The Judgment during our Time
Christians believe the gospel of Christ from the Four Gospels and other Bible books in the New Testament and of course the laws and prophets from the Old Testament books.  However, the basic concept of Christianity is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God put to death by the Jews religious leaders in collaboration of the Gentile Rulers.  Just before his arrest and put to death, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit.  He said, “And I will ask the father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever, The Spirit of Truth.  The World cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him (John 14: 15-17).  John again brings another statement of our Lord about the Holy Spirit and how he would judge the unbelievers.  “But I tell you the truth; It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment; in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me, in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16: 7-11).  Three important tasks of the Holy Spirit are – (1) Convicting the World of its sin and calling it to repentance, (2) Revealing the standared of God’s righteousness to anyone who believes, because Christ would no longer be physically present on earth and (3) Demonstrating Christ’s judgment over Satan.
John the Baptist declared and said, “I baptized you with water.  But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.  He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3: 16).  In fulfillment of this declaration, the Holy Spirit came to the believers on Pentecost day.  “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2: 3-4).  Ever since the Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit continues to work along with the believers in evangelizing the gospel.  This being continues for nearly 2000 years till our days.  Those who refused to accept the Christ are being judged.  Those who were backslide one to immoral living, the love of wealth and money, the love of power and suppressed the downtrodden are being judged.  Then the most unfortunate ones are those who practiced false prophets/preachers for their own selfish gain are being judged.  The persecutors of the believers are being judged.  This judgment for the unbelievers will continue till the second coming of Christ on earth.