How appropriate that, on the morning of the presidential inauguration, my Bible should fall open to Isaiah 33:22: “The LORD is our judge, our lawgiver and our king.” Some claim that this verse was the inspiration for our founding fathers to set up the three branches of government to provide checks and balances on one another.
Our government needs checks and balances because human wisdom is limited. But God’s wisdom is perfect. He knows and sees through all space and time. We need checks and balances because humans are corruptible. But God always does what is right by his own absolutely holy standards, and his goodness and compassion are infinite and unfailing.
But Isaiah’s point is that God, as Supreme Ruler, doesn’t need checks and balances. He is our Perfect Ruler! Though the full force of God’s kingdom is still veiled at the present time, we look forward to the day when he will rule unchallenged.
The Lord is our LAWGIVER. He alone determines what is right and wrong, based on his perfect character.
The Lord is our KING. He enforces his own just standards and rules in splendor over his whole creation, from the farthest galaxy to the most intricate living cell. And one of these days every individual will kneel before him, voluntarily or not, and will acknowledge him as the Sovereign Ruler over all.
The Lord is our JUDGE. He knows not only the deeds but also the secret motives of each one. He also understands our needs and weaknesses because he has walked on earth and rubbed shoulders with us. He will bring about justice, ultimately vindicating the innocent and punishing the guilty. But more than that, he is the one who has come around to our side of the judge’s bench and paid the consequences for our offences so that he can then render the verdict of acquittal for those who accept this gracious gift!
What a wonderful God—all we need in one perfect Ruler!