Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from that noisy crowd of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent man; they shoot at him suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see them?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning. But God will shoot them with arrows; suddenly they will be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done.
Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!
At the end of the Millennium, the unsaved dead will rise to face their judgment before God. Those who have insisted on being judged on the merits of their own works will finally get their wish. I don’t believe the Lord will judge them by His standards. I think he’ll judge them by theirs, and they’ll still come up short.
One Sunday our pastor spoke about the invisible lines we draw as boundaries for our behavior. We convince ourselves that if we don’t cross those lines then we haven’t sinned. For example, there are lots of folks who seem to think that it’s perfectly OK to lie, cheat, and steal in their business or professional lives as long as they’re in church every Sunday. Or who obey the Lord’s commandment to love one another publicly but secretly harbor such envy, anger, or resentment toward acquaintances and even family members that you would wonder how they contain it. And how many marriages do you think are barely tolerated for the sake of public appearance while the emotion the parties most frequently express toward one another in private is contempt? How about the parents who frequently drink to excess, but are quick to remind their children of the dire circumstances that await them if they’re caught experimenting with marijuana?
A well known speaker once opened his remarks to a squeaky-clean upscale protestant congregation by saying, “If I knew what sinners you all are I wouldn’t be here speaking to you.” After a pause while their faces registered the shock they all felt, he continued, “And if you knew what a sinner I am you wouldn’t be here listening.” Because they can’t read our minds or see very far into our private lives we can fool those around us into thinking that we’re a lot better than we really are. Eventually we can even fool ourselves.
But God, Who knows the intents of our hearts and the hidden motives behind our actions is not fooled. Woe to those hapless folks who think they’ve pulled the wool over His eyes. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin. He doesn’t need to apply His standards in judging them. He knows that they, like us, don’t even live up to their own.
And please remember that. The only difference between them and us is that we’ve allowed the Blood of Jesus to wash us clean. By that single decision we’re made perfect in God’s sight and exempt from the end times judgments. He’s so pleased that we’ve accepted His remedy for our sin problem that He’s chosen from that day forward to always see us as we will be after He’s perfected us in the Kingdom, not as we are now. Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!