“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne, steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 89:14)
Ethan the Ezrahite could not have been able to see the full revelation of the wonder of the Gospel yet but this one line in his psalm encapsulates so much of the Gospel!
God’s throne (‘your throne’) evokes thoughts about God’s rule, God’s kingdom. God’s rule is characterised by, is founded on God’s character, His nature. Who God is, defines His kingdom.
And as the Psalmist says, God is righteous. This means God always does the right thing in every situation. God is utterly pure in character and flawless in His actions. God is perfect in all He does and is and there is no stain or shadow or turning in Him at all. God’s righteousness is the reason God is holy, totally ‘other than’ anything and anyone else because no one else is righteous.
God is just. He has no favouritism in Him, no partiality that leads to injustice to some. God cannot be influenced so that evil or sin is allowed to prevail or go unchecked or unpunished. God can’t ‘turn a blind eye’ to sin.
Jesus’ righteousness and His justice make Jesus the perfect King. We reverently fear Him because of His righteous justice and yet we are also comforted that the injustices we see daily will be judged.
Because God is just and righteous, we sinners need a Saviour lest we perish in our sin under the righteous judgment of God’s justice. God is righteous in administering His justice and so we need a Saviour.
Steadfast love and Faithfulness announce God’s presence or His coming. Like a praise singer walking out in front of God. Yet the God He announces is characterised by steadfast love and faithfulness so how ought we to approach this righteous, just, Holy, loving, faithful King?
Here is the paradox that is the Gospel. God is holy, righteous & just and we are not! Yet as our Creator, God loves the unlovely and so in love He chose to give Himself for us on the cross to satisfy His righteous justice and to simultaneously express His love. When Jesus died in our place for our sin the righteous One became unrighteous so that we the unrighteous could be made righteous so that we could be reconciled to God in love!
And because Jesus did this, God is faithful to Jesus (1 John 1:9) to forgive the sin of anyone who approaches Him as their King and asks Him to forgive them of all their sins.
Amazing God, awesome Saviour!