Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?
The wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached a boiling point. God was ready to destroy those unwilling to turn from their evil ways. Abraham, who had relatives in the city of Sodom, intervened on their behalf. He approached God and asked, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham’s negotiation started with the possibility of God finding fifty righteous people in Sodom and ended with the possibility of ten. God agreed, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” During the arbitration, Abraham called God the “Judge of all the earth.”
The Hebrew word for “Judge” is shophet. It describes God as the ultimate authority and decision-maker. As the Judge of the whole earth, God is the only One who can measure the motivation and intent of our hearts. God’s judgment does not change with cultural values or norms. It is based on his character and nature. God’s justice is always based on righteousness (Psalm 94:15).
As the Judge of all the earth, God will not cut corners or turn a blind eye to sin. The penalty of our sin is death—spiritual and eternal separation from God forever. But the Judge is also merciful. Without compromising his righteousness, he provided our acquittal. God sent his sinless Son to pay sin’s penalty and be judged on our behalf. Jesus bore our sin in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Our final judgment will not be based on what we have done but on what Jesus has done for us (Revelation 21:27).
Judge of all the earth,
I stand before you guilty, a lawbreaker, sinful. There is nothing I can do to pay for my sin. Today I acknowledge that my trust is in Jesus as the One who paid the penalty of my sin on the cross. I trust in him as the One who took my punishment for me. Judge of all the earth, thank you for providing a substitute. Thank you for sending Jesus to do for me what I could never do for myself. In his name. Amen.
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 Ann Spangler, The Names of God, p. 101.
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