Many Psalms reveal that the Lord is not indifferent to the needs of the righteous or to the injustices that they often face. He will react to the issues that cry out for redress, and He will “ ‘justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,’ ” just as any good judge would do(Deut. 25:1, NKJV).
When God judges, the throne room becomes a courtroom, and the heavenly throne, a judgment seat. The One enthroned is the One who judges (see Ps. 9:4–8), a concept known in the ancient Near East, where kings often functioned as judges, as well.
Divine judgment involves both the wicked and the righteous. While the wicked receive a punishment similar to that received by Sodom and Gomorrah, the upright “will behold His face” (Ps. 11:6-7, NASB). The classic combination of throne room and judgment appears inDaniel 7:9–14 (a significant passage that we will study later). There again, the judgment consists of two strands: a verdict of vindication for the saints and a sentence of condemnation for God’s enemies.
In the book of Habakkuk, after Habakkuk asks God why He is silent about injustice (Habakkuk 1), God answers that that He will certainly judge (Hab. 2:1–5). While idols have no “breath” or “spirit” (Hab. 2:19), the Creator God is enthroned in His temple, the heavenly sanctuary, and He is ready to judge.
The prophetic appeal is, “ ‘Let all the earth be silent before Him’ ” (Hab. 2:20, NASB). The appropriate attitude toward God’s ruling and judging is awed silence and hushed reverence.
The place where God reveals His special presence and where He is worshiped by the heavenly beings is the same place where He is rendering righteous judgment for all humans: the sanctuary in heaven. God is just, and all our questions about justice will be answered in God’s time, not ours.
However much we cry out for justice, we so often don’t see justice in the present. Why, then, must we trust in God’s justice? Without that promise, what hope do we have?