Monday, December 31
The final reading for 2018! This year I read the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) which was just published in 2017. The CSB uses a translation philosophy called “optimal equivalence” which balances literal (word for word) with the intended sense and readability (thought for thought). The CSB falls between the NIV and ESV. (See chart below.) I enjoyed this translation a lot!
For 2019, I’m going to read the New American Standard Bible (NASB), originally published in 1971, and updated in 1995. It is one of the most literal (word for word) of the newer translations. This will be a throw back for me—the NASB was the Bible I used from 1971 (when it came out) until the early 80’s when I adopted the NIV. So it will feel like going home! Looking forward to a new year of seeking God and learning from Him!
Scripture: Revelation 19-22
Revelation 19:1-2 Hallelujah! Salvation, glory and power belong to our God, 2 because His judgments are true and righteous.
Revelation 16:7 I heard the altar say, “Yes, Lord God, Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
In Revelation 19, celebration breaks out in heaven as God’s final judgments are applied. We don’t usually associate celebration with judgment, but if you were the oppressed believers of the first century experiencing God’s judgment on your oppressors and your own deliverance, the celebration makes sense. Imagine the scenes of Allied troops rolling into Nazi occupied Europe, freeing people—these were scenes of celebration. They were celebrating their own deliverance but also the just judgment of the Nazis.
The ultimate reason for the celebration is that God’s judgments are true and righteous. In 16:7, they are described as true and just. God’s judgments are always true, just and righteous. In other words, no one can ever complain that God is not treating them fairly, justly or righteously.
I’m often asked questions about God’s judgment. What about the person who hasn’t heard, who didn’t have a chance, whose culture or family predisposed him not to believe (and so on)? There are many questions that I know are above my pay grade! I don’t know exactly how God will handle these situations.
What do I know? I know that God’s judgments are true, just and righteous. No one will get a raw deal. No one will be treated unjustly. No one will be able to accuse God of unfairness or injustice or unrighteousness. I remind people that God is perfectly just, and so we can trust Him to do what is right. He knows everything, not only what people do, but why they do it. He alone knows the motives of men’s hearts—which is why only He should judge—and why we can trust His judgments.
His judgments are true, just and righteous. That’s why we can celebrate at the final judgment…and now!
Prayer: Lord, I trust You completely. There are many questions I can’t answer, but I know that You are trustworthy—Your judgments are true, just and righteous.