11 - The Judgment of God as seen in the Old Testament
Note: The Perfection of God
want to remind you of a particular teaching that comes out again and
again in the Bible – that God is perfect. Now be under no illusion
that perfect means complete and faultless, and cannot be improved
upon. Therefore whatever God thinks, says or does is perfect,
is faultless and cannot be improved upon.
need to let this truth sink in. Let's see it as it crops up through
is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways
are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
(Deut 32:4 – song of Moses).
for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD
is flawless.” (2 Sam 22:31 – song of David).
Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” (Psa 50:2
– song of Asaph).
LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in
perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.” (Isa 25:1 – Isaiah).
perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect ”
(Mt 5:48 – Jesus).
will be able to test and approve what God's will
is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12:2 –
he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once
made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who
obey him.” (Heb 5:8,9 – writer to the Hebrews)
you have it: Jesus was begotten and was thus perfect because he was
God. God is perfect and everything He says or does is perfect – they
cannot be improved upon! Now start thinking about these difficult
subjects from that angle or through that lens if you like. If God
is angry about something then it is right, proper and appropriate
to be angry and we can even go further and say it would be wrong not
to be angry. We tolerate wrong and shrug our shoulders over it, but
God sees it and sees it spoils the Creation that He made which was
“very good” (Gen 1:31)
and if God says something was “very
good” you may take it that it was perfect. And now sin
spoils it. The wonder and the beauty and the perfection has been spoiled
and marred and desecrated.
you were a master painter and you had spent months creating a most
beautiful masterpiece and a teenager, say, comes in spits on it, writes
on it in felt pen, throws paint on it and finally cuts it to pieces
with a Stanley knife. Would you still be as calm and equitable about
it as we so often are about wrongs in our world? No, we would be livid
that this wonderful masterpiece with all its beauty has been utterly
don't we get angry? It's all a matter of perspective. If we could
see the whole picture with the completeness and perfection of God
our emotions would be different. It is right to be angry, it is right
to be upset and indeed, to go further, it is wrong not to be. Righteous
anger is, as a dictionary puts it, “passionate displeasure”.
distinguish angers from reactive hostility or revenge. Righteous anger
is simply an objective emotion that responds rightly to wrong. What
follows, when it is God, is a dispassionate objective assessment
of what to do about it. God's judgment is His dispassionate objective
assessment of what to do about the wrong which has been highlighted
by His anger.
is instinctive. Our passionate displeasure rises up in the face of
something awful, something wrong. If it is us, we react and may over-react
and get it wrong but God, we saw, is perfect so He looks and He assesses
what is the right thing to do, the perfect thing to do, the thing
to be done in the light of ALL of the facts of both past, present
and future, for only He can do this, for He knows all things and He
knows how things could work out and how they can work out and how
they will work out, and all the differences depend on His actions
now. He chooses that which is perfect.
when we look at His acts of judgment in the Bible, realise you don't
have all the facts, your emotions are stunted, you see imperfectly,
but God has seen, God has assessed perfectly, and even though you
cannot see it, know that what He has done has been The best, The only
right thing to be done.
ALL of this in mind when you think of the Judgment of God. This
may give us a great deal of fuel to ponder on WHY God brings a particular
judgment and why having made a dispassionate objective assessment
of what to do about it, God's judgment is this particular thing -
which, with all the facts and information available to Him, is faultless!