Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 27th November 2023: God judges the world with equity

Justice Psalm 96 Judgement God as King

Reading : Verses from Psalm 96


O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
He will judge the peoples with equity.’
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Many of us have heard of Equity - the Trades Union for Actors and Actresses - or perhaps we've heard of an Insurance company with 'equity' in its title. But what does it mean? Well it has to do with objectivity and impartiality. If we use the term to talk about a judge we mean that they do not favour one side over the other but consider both sides of the argument before making a judgement. We could say they are impartial, and an impartial judge is a wonderful thin, for they listen to both sides of the argument before making a judgement.

Psalm 96 on one level is a song of triumph (along with Psalms 105 and 106) when the Ark of the Covenant is brought back into Jerusalem in triumph by King David. This account can be seen in 1 Chronicles 16.1-36. But on another level this is a song about God who is the King of all the earth, who will come to judge the nations of the earth one day.

The psalm says three things about God's judgement:

  1. God will judge us with equity - fairly.
  2. God will judge us righteously - with justice.
  3. God will judge us with truth - His truth.

We should never fear this judgement, for God loves us, but equally we should never forget that there will be a time of judgement.


King of the nations,
we praise You for Your glory,
and worship You this day.
We know that one day
that there will be a time
when we shall face judgement
for what we have failed to do,
for what we have selfishly done,
for what we have ignored,
for what we have preferred not to notice,
and for our failure to stand up
for Your values.
We ask Your forgiveness now,
as well as the courage to change.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play this by Hillsong worship:

Or this, more traditional song:

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