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Judgment Rightly Falls

Romans 2:2 (ESV) -- We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.

Nobody thinks they deserve God’s judgment. I know that “nobody” is a strong word, and it may overstate the case, but the sentiment is true. People generally believe they are decent people. It is rare to find people with a sense of God’s holiness and a sense of their sinfulness. The people most aware of this reality are often the most holy people. It is the rebels who fool themselves into thinking they aren’t that bad.

Our passage today helps us align our hearts and minds with the truth. Paul writes that, “we know that the judgment of God rightfully falls on those who practice such things.” The “such things” in this case are the list of sinful deeds listed in Romans 1 that come as a result of suppressing the truth about God in unrighteousness: envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, without faithfulness, heartless, and ruthless. Additionally, they exchange the truth of God for a lie. They exchange natural relations with the opposite sex for same sex relations. In other words, they live in rebellion.

Paul says the judgment of God falls on those who practice such things. The word “practice” implies an ongoing habit of life. This isn’t a one-time offense, but habitual offense. If we practice such things, the judgment of God falls on us. In what way? Curses, calamities, hardships, and even death. God’s punishment of sin isn’t reserved only for eternity. It can, and does, often fall on people in this life for unrepentant sins. But notice the one word in this verse that we haven’t emphasized, yet must be dealt with: rightly. The judgment of God “rightly” falls. This means that God’s integrity and character are never compromised when His judgment falls. It is always merited judgment. 

We need the reminder that God’s judgment could rightly fall on any of us. We don’t deserve His mercy and grace. That is a kindness. That is a gift. The recognition of this in our lives ought to produce humility and gratitude. The fact that God poured His wrath out for our sins on Jesus, instead of us, ought to elicit a profound devotion and pursuit of honoring Him. Do that today.

Reflection & Journal:
- What are some examples of what the judgment of God may look like on earth today?
- Why does Paul emphasize “rightly” when describing God’s judgment on sinners?
- How should this passage work in our hearts today? 

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