“For there, thrones of judgment dwell;
thrones of the house of David.”
It is in Israel where, in ancient times God dwelled and thus dwelt the law. Judgment needs to be given according to a standard—ultimate judgment according to an ultimate standard, thus in ancient times, Jerusalem was the place where true judgment could be given. In turn, in our Lord’s ultimate return, Judgment will once again locally take place from this area—an act as a symbolic reminder to the nations that the Law did indeed come through the people of Israel as given by God—not the preferences of men. Similarly, Christians are themselves called to be judges (1 Corinthians 6:1-3) not just of themselves, but of the whole world—in a very real sense, sitting in the thrones of judgment over the nations. Why is this? Again, it is because we have been given the Law of God and we have been given the Holy Spirit to guide us in its interpretation.
There has been a sad development in modern times, though, and what is seen as the source of authority for modern law has shifted from God to the societies of man. Thus, the culture is seen as being able to discern what is right and what is wrong and not as one which is forced to rely on divine revelation. Yet, is man his own authority? If one says that a nation has the authority to determine its own law, then how can one condemn what took place in Nazi Germany? The legal, constituted government had determined that these acts were morally justified, what right did the allied nations have for coming in and stopping him? One is tempted to say that the reason the allies were justified is that the worldwide governments as a united body have the right to make and enforce such principles and laws on individual nations. Yet, if this is the case, why is there so much inconsistency in enforcement. Why is China, for example, permitted to commit gross acts of human injustice while the allied nations take a stand against others? The answer is that politics now has replaced the divine standard and pragmatism is mankind’s authority.
Yet, what about the lives of individual Christians? Do we not function in the same way? Do we not say that God commands us not to tell lies but at the same time lie when it is convenient? Loved ones, if we are to be judges of the world—ought we not begin with ourselves and with the church (1 Peter 4:17). Let us submit ourselves, then, to the commands and expectations of God, working and laboring to serve Him in all we do and to be conformed into the image of his glorious Son. Let us rejoice with the psalmist that the throne of judgment was in Jerusalem, the place where God had given his divine law and does not rest in the whims of men.