“Only God will judge” inspires either great hope or great fear. To those who consider themselves to be exempt from God’s judgment, it inspires great hope that one day all the evil in this world will be judges with perfect justice and finality. To those who are a little more honest with themselves, it inspires great fear, for we know that God judges every thought and intention of the heart as well.
But, then there is another response to “only God will judge” that reflects both great anticipation for the judgment on the wicked, and great vindication on self for true righteousness.
The simple summary of such a response is given in Psalm 7:8
The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.Psalm 7:8 (ESV)
How can we both love and invite the judgment of God? The rest of Psalm 7 gives the answer.
First, seek your own safety, not in yourself or others more righteous than you, but in God Himself (Psalm 7:1-2). Then confess all your own sin and affirm the just punishment for your sins (Psalm 7:3-5). Pray that God will indeed be just, judging on the basis of personal wickedness and righteousness (Psalm 7:6-9). Recognise that your safety on judgement day will not ultimately be your righteousness, but the righteousness of the Judge, and therefore your safety on judgment day is by taking refuge with the Judge Himself (Psalm 7:10-17).
It is only those who accept God’s righteousness who will be shielded from the judgment of God on judgment day.