“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
The historian and philosopher, Voltaire (1694-1778) once famously lamented, “Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?” There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). Politicians were known to be deceptive liars in Voltaire’s day and that remains generally true of politicians today. Until relatively recently, politicians could deny earlier claims and promises with relative ease. As the saying goes, lies can get around the world before the truth has time to lace up its shoes! With the cultural megaphones under their control, lying, deceptive politicians of yesteryear could be assured that their former claims and promises were buried, forgotten, and unreported. Only a true investigative reporter (a rare commodity these days!) was able to discover and inform others of the deception. Things are different today. Today everything is recorded on video and uploaded to the internet for all the world to see. Former lies, false claims and promises are on public display. This, no doubt, is the reason why our own Prime Minister is striving so hard to censor what Canadians can and cannot see online. If I were him, I would seek to bury my foolish statements and false promises too! Whatever the case, our technological infrastructure certainly does make it possible to record and recall much of what politicians have said and done. We must acknowledge, however, that God’s ability to record and recall what every person on earth has said and done infinitely surpasses man’s puny efforts. As today’s verse passage reminds us, at the end of the age, every thing every person has ever done will be “on the record.” God will evaluate and judge these deeds and repay every person accordingly. Jeremiah celebrated God as the Judge of all the earth, whom he described as “great in counsel, and mighty in work: for [His] eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 32:19). This is a fearful thought when we consider that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible is clear that God maintains a constant, hot hostility to sin. If we approach Him with our sin “still on the record” we are in huge trouble. “Who can stand before his indignation?” asked the prophet, “and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him” (Nahum 1:6). How good it is to know that in Christ, our former sins and wicked conduct have been stricken from the record (Romans 8:33-34; 2 Corinthians 5:19). Praise God, we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10), acceptable to God in His Beloved One (Ephesians 1:6). Hallelujah!