This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
God is judge.
That statement is controversial to some, especially to those who want to view God as one who would never discipline or punish. But the Bible is clear: God is judge.
The good news is that God is a fair judge. He judges both motive and action. He will not be bribed or bought. He will do only what is just and equitable.
The bad news is that God is a fair judge. We all have done evil. We all have acted with unrighteousness. We cannot earn or buy our way out of this. When compared to his demand of perfect righteousness, we all fall short. We all fall under his judgment.
Psalm 75:8 says of this judgment: “For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand, full of wine blended with spices, and he pours from it. All the wicked of the earth will drink, draining it to the dregs.”
Dregs are what’s left in the very bottom of the cup–not just the liquids, but any sediments that have settled there be they from grounds or backwash. To drain to the dregs is to drink down every last drop.
Yet, this psalm of God’s judgment opens with thanks (75:1) and closes with praise (75:9-10). How can that be? If all of us have done evil and fall under God’s judgment, then how do we become people of thanks and praise?
The answer is Jesus.
God is fair and just, but he is also loving and merciful. We can’t escape his judgment, so he gave us himself. God the Son willingly went to the cross where he drank the cup of God the Father’s wrath all the way to the dregs. When Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished,” he meant, in part, there remained no wrath left for those who would trust in him.
There remains not even a drop.
For sinners, unable to save our selves, this is the best news. News that leads us to praise God for his kindness. News that leads us to thank him for his grace.
All scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.