II Samuel 2:10 “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of the heaven shall he thunder upon them:  the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Psalm 98:9 “For he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”

Hebrews 10:30 “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”

Luke 12:48 “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”

After outlining a comprehensive list grievances, the founders wrote the following as they prepared to close out the brilliant prose of the Declaration of Independence:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”

They knew that He was the “righteous judge” (II Timothy 4:8) and realized that their most poignant appeal would be to The Powerful Arbiter and The Perfect Authority.

Interestingly, however, we have forgotten that the same Judge who created the purest of liberties will judge our use of those same liberties. President Lincoln reminded his fellow countrymen of the costliness of this important truth in his second inaugural address.

Speaking of the Civil War and slavery, Lincoln quotes Matthew 18:7: “Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.” Of God’s judgment, Lincoln goes on to state the following as he incorporates Psalm 19:9: “Fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as we said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said: ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”

All-in-all, the Civil War cost the United States over $170 billion. More importantly, it cost over 750,000 lives, about one in four who fought.

May we never forget that the Supreme Judge’s authority is characterized by righteousness, equity, and surety.