I was in midlife before I realized that God’s judgment could be good news. God’s judgment will be righteous and based on truth. We don’t have to worry that God will be capricious. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we know God’s love will cover us. We stand before God today, and we will stand before God at the time of judgment, confident in Jesus’ righteousness and sure that all will be made right. All evil will be purged.

“Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!” In the earlier verses of the psalm, Asaph tells us why he wants God to exercise judgment: The weak, orphans, lowly, destitute, and needy are being oppressed by the wicked. Asaph’s sense of what is right and good is violated by what he sees. He knows that the wicked will die like other mortals. But why are they getting away with oppression now?

Asaph rejoices that one day God will judge all forms of evil. People will no longer make unwise and unkind decisions that imperil others. Self-seeking, self-justification, self-absorption, and self-deception will come to an end. Destructive viruses and catastrophic natural disasters will be no more. All forms of violence will burn away.

In addition, all the evil inside me will be removed, and I will stand before God clean and pure. No longer will my mind be tossed about with fears and catastrophic thoughts. No longer will I battle the inner voices that speak lies to me. No longer will I be tempted to act in unkind ways. What a wondrous day that will be!

Judge of the earth, we long for human life on earth to be made right and for your good creation to be restored. Until then, cleanse us of selfishness and self-seeking. Help us rely on your great love and kindness to live fruitful lives. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 4–10, 2022
Scripture Overview

Amos is a farmer called by God to deliver a message to Jeroboam, the king of Israel (the northern kingdom in the divided monarchy). Because the king has not listened to the warnings from God, judgment will come. The psalmist also warns of judgment, in this case for those who oppress the weak and needy and fail to protect them from the wicked. Such heartless people will surely be brought low by God. The opening to the letter to the Colossians is a prayer of thanksgiving for their faith in Christ and the spiritual fruit they are producing in the world. The parable in the Gospel reading challenges our human tendency to ignore need. Jesus teaches that mercy should overcome any reason we might find to harden our hearts.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Amos 7:7-17. Look for God’s plumb line in the world. In what ways is the ground you stand on askew?
Read Psalm 82. If you sit on the council of the Most High, how does this change your perspective on the world?
Read Colossians 1:1-14. Prayers of mere words are just the beginning of prayer. To what prayerful actions do your prayerful words call you?
Read Luke 10:25-37. The author writes, “Even those trying to be faithful walk askew.” Consider how you live out Jesus’ call to love your neighbor.

Respond by posting a prayer.

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