“The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.”

Hannah’s Prayer, 1 Samuel 2:10 (NRSV)

Compassionate and Just

Moved by the Holy Spirit and speaking from God, Hannah affirmed God’s sovereignty over all people and the arc of God’s plan for eternity. It was a bold saying, for in her day every nation had their own pantheon of gods, and it was understood each people group answered to their own deity. But those who belonged to YHWH understood the Lord is far above all over gods, and all the peoples of earth belong to God.

Hannah’s oracle moved beyond the first coming of Christ to Messiah’s Second Advent, when Jesus comes in glory to judge the living and the dead. God intends to spread justice to all people, making right all that has been wrong, to release the cosmos from its chains to corruption and death, to cleanse all creation from evil.

Other ancients gods – Ba’al, Chemosh, Astarte, the gods of Egypt – were capricious beings without real sympathy for their subjects. But YHWH came to all people as a human being, and is now able to “sympathize with our weaknesses … who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.” This is Who will judge all people, One Who knows us deeply, understands us completely, Who loves us without measure, and longs that every person may come to repentance.

This is the loving God Hannah knew and Zechariah trusted in to rescue them.

Christmas Carol

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” Charles Wesley (1739)

Prayer

O Lord, how thankful we are that You, compassionate and just Lord, will judge. Strengthen our inner being with the power of Your Spirit that Christ will dwell in our hearts through faith. Ground us in love, fill us with Your fullness. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

“That we would be saved from our enemies.”

Zechariah’s Prophecy, Luke 1:71 (NRSV)
By Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – Museo Nacional del Prado, Public Domain

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