Your Justice Be Done

Our devotionals since the twins have been born have reflected our state of life really well — no deep thought required! We’re a little less in survival mode now, but not so much that we didn’t discuss just using something we wrote a few years ago for this particular newsletter. We’re not going to do that, but we are going to use material that we’ve thought much about already. Namely, one of the songs we’ve recorded. Hopefully it goes without saying, but we could talk your ears off about every one of the songs we’ve picked to record. Each of them is about deep and enduring truth, even the fast and fun ones. 

However this song isn’t fast or fun. It’s called “The Reckoning,” and it was written by Andrew Peterson. 

I can see the storm descending on the hill tonight 

Tall trees are bending to your will tonight 

Let the mighty bow down 

At the thundering sound of your voice 

I can hear the howling wind and feel the rain tonight 

Every drop a prophet in your name tonight 

And the words that they sing 

They are washing me clean, but 

How long until this curtain is lifted? 

How long is this the song that we sing? 

How long until the reckoning? 

“Every drop a prophet in your name tonight.” What a great line. Every time there’s a storm, the thunder and lightning that sends Lillie crying to Mommy and Daddy — it’s a foretelling of the judgment that is to come. 

This is one of those songs that came home to us as a result of starting a family and having little ones. All of you who have children know that having children changes how you view so many things. Abortion was always evil, but now… we see that the evil is much darker and more terrible than we knew. Sexual predators were always appalling, but now the very thought is nauseous. Broken families were always sad, but now they are heartbreaking. Having helplessness and innocence to guard makes us so very aware of the evil that is present in the world system, in fallen human nature, and in our adversary, Satan, always seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. 

And I know you hear the cries of every soul tonight 

You see the teardrops as they roll tonight 

Down the faces of the saints 

Who grow weary and faint in your fields 

And the wicked roam the cities and the streets tonight 

But when the God of love and thunder speaks tonight 

I believe You will come 

Your justice be done, but how long? 

Look at that line. “But when the God of love and thunder speaks tonight / I believe You will come / Your justice be done.” Thank God for thunder and lightning, for howling wind and storms. Their violence reminds us of the coming judgment, renews our hope that His justice will be done in the end, however long He chooses to wait. 

We need those reminders. It’s so hard to grasp what God is doing in the world. Looking around, one of the hardest questions Christianity has to answer is how God can allow evil to continue. He hears the cries of every soul tonight. Sees the teardrops. And yet, the wicked continue to roam the cities and the streets. There’s tension there, even paradox. God’s wrath at evil is to be feared and fled from, yet God is the God of love, full of lovingkindness and mercy, ready to receive all who come to him in penitence. 

Thus the bridge of the song: 

You are holiness and grace 

You are fury and rest 

You are anger and love 

You curse and you bless 

You are mighty and weak 

You are silence and song 

You are plain as the day, 

But you have hidden your face-- 

For how long? How long? 

The poetry in these lyrics is beautiful. Such an economy of words to describe our God, yet with every line I could pull up dozens of scripture references to back it up. 

And I am standing in the stillness of the reckoning 

The storm is past and rest is beckoning 

Mighty God, how I fear you 

How I long to be near you, O Lord 

How long until the burden is lifted? 

How long is this the song that we sing? 

How long until the reckoning? 

And I know that I don't know what I'm asking 

But I long to look you full in the face 

I am ready for the reckoning 

I think it makes people nervous to talk about wanting God’s judgment to come. It sounds a little wild-eyed, a little crazy, a little vengeful. I’ve heard people say that it’s wrong to be wanting Christ to return and make an end — that there’s many people that need saving still. I guess my answer would be that being made in God’s image, we should resonate with the different aspects of His being. While we long for justice to be done, we should also have the part of us that wishes wrath to be put off for the sake of the righteous, for the sake of mercy, for the sake of one more person being born again. The two desires can and should exist in the same heart. 

Let us then be praying “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” and be confident that we are echoing the heart of God when we long for all evil to be put to an end. And no, we don’t know what we’re asking. We have a few pictures in the Bible of what that justice, that day will be like, but we only have the ability to comprehend a very small bit of that reality. It’s ok, though. The God of holiness and grace, of anger and love, of fury and rest… He is the one who will do justice. He will do it well. And on that day, there will not be a person who feels that justice has gone too far, or that it has not gone far enough. Every one’s innate desire for wrong to be dealt with, will be fully satisfied. 

Thanks be to God, we who are in Christ don’t have to have fear about the wrath of God on that day. It is not coming for us. It has been forever settled in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. 



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