In a recent post, I suggested that we generally shy away from singing songs about God’s judgments, but that judgment is a theme found in many Psalms and Scriptural songs. I promised that I’d follow up with a post that suggested some songs we can sing that reference God’s judgments and help us think about them in a way that honors God, encourages a passion for holiness, and strengthens our confidence in the gospel. So one month later, here we are. (If you didn’t read my previous post, please read it to get the context.)
Before listing the songs, it’s important to mention a few things. First, God is the Judge, not us. We’re concerned about his fame and vindication, not ours. That means we don’t sing about God’s judgments with self-righteousness or callousness. Second, God judging evil is part of the Bible’s story line to redeem a people for his glory. As one commenter said, “God’s judgment is simply the ‘negative’ side of our great heartcry, ‘Let your kingdom come!'” Finally, the predominant theme of our gatherings is not simply that God judges wickedness, but that he rejoices in righteousness. And that his righteousness has been most clearly demonstrated in the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying for our sins and rising from the dead. Because Christ was made to be sin for us, we are now clothed in the righteousness of God and are no longer under his wrath. Definitely cause for great rejoicing!
With that being said, here are some suggestions, modern and hymns.
Day of Judgment, Day of Wonders (John Newton)
(Probably one of the best comprehensive hymns on the day of judgment.)
At His call the dead awaken,
Rise to life from earth and sea;
All the powers of nature shaken
By His look, prepares to flee.
Careless sinner, what will then become of thee?
Almighty (Paul Baloche, from Glorious)
You will judge the nations,
You’ll reward Your servants,
Both the great and small.
Lord of All (Kristian Stanfill, from Attention)
We will respond with joy in our song
Your enemies rise, Your enemies fall
Your fire consumes them all
Jesus is Lord (Keith Getty & Stuart Townend)
“Jesus is Lord!”-a shout of joy, a cry of anguish,
As He returns, and ev’ry knee bows low.
Then ev’ry eye and ev’ry heart will see His glory,
The Judge of all will take His children home.
Psalm 73 (Kevin Twit)
Surely, they’re cast down
As those on slippery ground
As dreams fade when we wake, so they become
Completely swept away
Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
We’ll join in singing with all the redeemed
Cause Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King
By Thy Mercy (Indelible Grace, Words by James Cummins, Music by Greg Thompson)
In the solemn hour of dying,
In the awful judgment day,
May our souls, on thee relying,
Find thee still our Rock and Stay.
God, Be Merciful (Christopher Miner)
Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice,
And in gladness hear Thy voice
How Sweet and Aweful (Isaac Watts)
Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.
The Lord Is (Ross King, from To Make God Famous, Vol. 2)
Listen, wicked ones, all who stand opposed to him
You will soon be done, He will surely come again
Adore and Tremble (Daniel Renstrom, from Adore and Tremble)
(Drawn from Psalm 2)
For Our God Spared Not the Angels (Abe and Liza Philip)
When they sinned and fell astray
Bound for hell and chains of darkness
To their doom on Judgment Day
And here are a few great lyrics, although I think they could use some new music:
O Lord, Thou Judge (Psalter 1912)
O Lord, Thou Judge of all the earth,
To Whom all vengeance doth belong,
Arise and show Thy glory forth,
Requite the proud, condemn the wrong.