"He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness" Acts 17:31. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Judgment, a concept that is fearful to most, is generally kept in unconscious storage where it receives no thought. As we consider a specific judgment scene, perhaps some new ideas will emerge regarding judgment.
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect" Job 1:1. Not only did the writer of the book count Job as perfect. "The LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" (verse 8)
This encounter initiated a judgment scene. Satan, always the accuser (see Rev. 12:10), attacks, not Job's actions, but his very motives. Satan, is the accuser, Job the accused, and God the Judge. Satan alleges that Job's goodness is merely based on being blessed and protected. Change that and "he will curse thee to thy face" Job 1:11. In spite of all the dreadful trauma Job experienced plus the grief of having friends join Satan as accusers, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" verse 22. Satan did all he could to prove his case, but he was wrong and eventually drops out of the picture. There are, however, some fascinating points to consider.
While God himself referred to Job as a perfect man, he was not perfect in himself. Job realized his need for a Savior. "I know that my redeemer liveth" Job 19:25. God, by challenging and enlarging Job's understanding of both Himself and Job, brought this "perfect" man to a necessary repentance. Read Job's confession. "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? . . I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" Job 40:4; 42:3, 5, 6.
There is a beauty here which we don't want to miss. God, the Judge, loved the accused so much, it's as though He came down from the bench to talk to Job as long as necessary for Job to achieve a needed understanding. The court case was then ended and Job acquitted. "The LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning" Job 42:12.
Judgment has a different appearance when the Judge is our Savior who loves us.
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.