Judge. Lawgiver. King. (Isaiah 33:22)

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Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our kinghe will save us.”

Isaiah 33:1-24 is a final “woe” on the oppressors of Judah, declaring that God will be the defender of His people and that He will judge those oppressing His people, concluding with God being exalted while Judah repents of their sin. This passage in Isaiah 33:22 is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty. The leaders of Judah failed continuously; on the contrary, Yahweh is their true judge, lawgiver, and Savior-king, and the only one capable of bringing true justice that the people longed for. The leaders of Judah failed to put their trust in God nor submit to the ultimate source of power, safety, and protection. The reference here is to Israel’s three forms of government: by Moses, by the judges, and by the kings. Israel was a theocracy, meaning “that the Jews were under the direct government of God himself. The nation was in all things subject to the will of their invisible King. All the people were the servants of Jehovah, who ruled over their public and private affairs, communicating to them…” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). But Isaiah, through this passage, looks to the divine reality rather than the mere human representatives of it. They often failed to obey and declare the truth or bring His righteous rule, decrees, and judgment upon the people. 

Likewise, we must place God as our ultimate judge, lawgiver, and Saviour-king. We put our faith in Jesus Christ, who is our Savior. Christ rules over all who are redeemed, and when you are in Him, it means fully yielding to God and subjecting yourself to your King, Jesus Christ. When you yield and are in subjection to Christ, it is a result of His kingship over you. When you realise that Christ is the one who keeps you in Him, even to the very end (John 10:28), and you are obedient to God’s voice and authority, you also acknowledge God as the lawgiver. We must be ruled over by God and guided by Him through His word. This is a sign of true salvation in Christ. Otherwise, we can be in a fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:24-31). Likewise, in James 4:12, we are told, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy…” Ultimately Jesus Christ is the perfect theocratic ruler who will be judge, lawgiver, and Saviour-king who will exercise the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king (Isaiah 11:4; 32:1; James 4:12). 

Often, many people can declare their allegiance to Christ with their mouths and do all those things that pertain to being a follower of Christ. This becomes a religious act, but their hearts are far from Him, just like those of Israel and Judah. Isaiah 29:13 says, “And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,”. Also, refer to Matthew 15:8. The Father has committed judgment to Jesus, who will bring judgment on the world (John 5:22). The Lord is also our lawgiver by writing His laws upon the hearts of His church and providing His Spirit through whom there is help to keep them. Ultimately it is Christ alone who saves us from sin with everlasting salvation being the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). Amen!

So, ask yourself, is Christ your King, Lawgiver, and Judge? Have you submitted and yielded yourself to Christ, are His words and His laws written on your hearts, and are you His child that He may discipline you and sanctify you through His Spirit so that you become more like Him every day? If not, there is a fearful judgment on those who do not believe whilst disciplining those who are His. When you love Him and are in complete submission to the will of the Father and His ways, being led by Him, and sacrificing all for Him, then you experience a genuine relationship with Christ and do all for God’s glory when He is sovereign over all. Amen!

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