Desire God's Judgment

by Philip Weingart on May 20, 2013

 Psalm 19:9b-10

The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Hebrews 12:9-11

...we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

I want to ask us all to consider that God's judgment is the very best thing that could possibly happen to us. We should embrace His judgment. We should pray to receive it, and thank Him when it comes. God does not judge in order to harm us; He judges in order to make us holy. The alternative to facing His judgment is to become confirmed in our errors and sins, and that leads to destruction. God is our Father. We should trust His judgment.

I hear it all the time from Christians of all sorts: God in the Old Testament is harsh and judgmental, God in the New Testament is loving and kind. This is an error. The truth is that God is the same God in both the Old and the New Testaments, and behaves the same. 

The reason they seem different is that very little of the NT is devoted to describing God's dealings with the nations, where much of the OT is. Moreover, many of the longest books in the Old Testament were written when God's patience with a rebellious people was at an end. After 700 years of mercy and patience toward Israel, He finally had to judge. If you read the book of Revelation, you'll see the same, OT God hard at work.

Even in those places where we see God judging, His acts were driven by love and His desire to redeem. His judgment came on them because it was the very best possible thing for them at that moment. When He removed a people or a place, it was because that place was not redeemable.

When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and all the rest of Judah's cities, the entire land was left empty. Those people who were not killed were taken to Babylon to live there as captives. It was a national calamity.

We seldom think about it this way, but that was the mercy of God at work. Their sin had become complete and had corrupted them thoroughly. There was only one path to recovery -- and it led through captivity in Babylon. And God loved them, so off to Babylon they went.

The alternative would have been permanent destruction. It would not have mattered if He'd sent another conqueror, or if He'd simply left them alone. The result would have been the same: today hardly anybody would even remember the Jews. Nothing would be left but the ashes. And there would have been no Messiah...

That's them. Let's talk about us.

Faithful believers in the United States have been praying for decades, "Lord, heal our land." He has not ignored those prayers. He will do as we have asked. He loves us, and restoration is His will.

But what is it going to look like when He does?

What most of us mean when we pray "Heal our land" is "Lord, get us back to being a nation when most everybody believes, we all agree about what is good and what is evil, and common sense rules our conduct..." Sadly, there's no going back. Today we live in a land where most people think sexual immorality is healthy, self-protective lying is perfectly acceptable, and it's fine to steal or break your oath if the victim is somebody rich enough. Most people scoff at the very idea of God. We live in a land that calls good "evil," and evil "good."

So if we are going to become a righteous nation again, God has to judge the wickedness among us -- including wickedness in the Church. How else can He make us holy again? And if God is merciful to us as He was to Israel, something will happen to the United States that looks an awful lot like wrath and punishment from God. The entire nation could be laid waste. It is not impossible. In fact, it is likely.

And when it happens, it will be the mercy of God and the answer to our prayers. Everything will collapse -- and the wicked will come running to the righteous asking how to find God. Want revival? There it is. We'll see the calamity and ask, looking to the sky with tears in our eyes, "Why, Lord?" And He'll reply, "You've been asking Me to do this for decades." We may never have the same prosperity that we had before; we may never have the same world influence. But we will be righteous, as we requested. That is the best possible outcome.

I am writing this so that we can prepare our minds to look at the catastrophe and say "Thank you." God's judgments are true and altogether righteous. They are more to be desired than gold, and they are sweeter than honey. Let us make up our minds to praise Him when the whirlwind comes. That whirlwind is our salvation; the alternative is something far worse. It will be hard to imagine something worse while it's happening, but trust God about that; the alternative is far worse. What He sends us comes from His love.

Oh, and by the way: the next time a Hurricane Sandy washes out some of the eastern seaboard, or a Hurricane Katrina floods New Orleans, don't say "The judgment of God has come." That's not judgment; that's a warning slap. When it's judgment, you won't be able to say it to anyone 'cause the Internet will be down, Starbucks will be closed, and you might get a surprise when you head to the grocery store for milk. When God judged Israel, all the cities were laid waste. God is thorough. 

I recommend getting as close to God as you know how and learning to trust Him for your supply, because we may be entering a time when if you don't know how to rely on God for your daily bread, and you don't know anybody else who does, you might not eat.

Also by the way: not all hardship comes from God. Some does, some does not. To some hardships, the right response is to rebuke the devil; to others, it's to bear it patiently; and to still others, it's to change society. It takes wisdom to know the difference. 

But doing good to others never changes, so whatever the calamity, resolve to do good to all those who have need and you'll never go wrong.

I'll never forget the minister who preached in my hearing, back in 1979, "The reason I'm here in front of you is because when God sent the plow, I grabbed it and kissed it." Embrace the dealings of God with joy. He sends them to save our lives.

I preached a sermon similar to this message on 12/30/2012 at the Vineyard in Kingston. If you're crazy enough to want to hear how God may have to treat our nation, visit for the video. Or go to, click on my name under "preacher," and select the sermon called "Who Can Stand When He Comes?" You can get an audio or a video file there. If you have any trouble viewing the video, let me know, and I'll put a copy up in a dropbox so you can download it.

Thanks for listening.

Phil Weingart
The Vineyard, Kingston, MA