Reward for the Righteous
So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (Psalm 58:11)
God’s judgments in this life are not always clearly to be seen, for in many cases one event happeneth alike to all. This is the state of probation, not of punishment or reward. Yet at times God works terrible things in righteousness, and even the careless are compelled to own His hand.
Even in this life righteousness has that kind of reward which it prefers above all others, namely, the smile of God, which creates a quiet conscience. Sometimes other recompenses follow, for God will be in no man’s debt. But, at the same time, the chief reward of the righteous lies in the hereafter.
Meanwhile, on a large scale, we mark the presence of the great Ruler among the nations. He breaks in pieces oppressive thrones and punishes guilty peoples. No one can study the history of the rise and fall of empires without perceiving that there is a power which makes for righteousness and, in the end, brings iniquity before its bar and condemns it with unsparing justice. Sin shall not go unpunished, and goodness shall not remain unrewarded. The Judge of all the earth must do right. Therefore, let us fear before Him and no more dread the power of the wicked.
Thou Judge by Whom each empire fell,
When pride of power o’ercame it,
Convict us now, if we we rebel,
Our nation judge, and shame it.
In each sharp crisis, Lord, appear,
Forgive, and show our duty clear:
To serve Thee by repentance.
Search, Lord, our spirits in Thy sight,
In best and worst reveal us;
Shed on our souls a blaze of light,
And judge, that Thou may’st heal us.
The present be our judgment day,
When all our lack Thou dost survey:
Show us ourselves and save us.
Lo, fearing naught we come to Thee,
Though by our fault confounded;
Though selfish, mean, and base we be,
Thy justice is unbounded:
So large, it naught but love requires,
And judging, pardons, frees, inspires.
Deliver us from evil!