Can there be Joy in the Judgement of the Lord?


Kookaburra sits in the old gumtree

Merry, merry king of the bush is he.

Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh!

Kookaburra gay your life must be.

(Marlon Sinclair, 1932).

The Kookaburra is a beautiful Australian bird, of the ‘kingfisher’ species, famous for his laughing song. He is also known as the ‘laughing jackass’! In a time before wrist-watches and clocks, Kookaburras were once referred to as the ‘Bushman’s alarm clock’ because they start laughing very early in the morning just before dawn.   Their chorus of laughter starts softly and works its way up to being quite loud and to an extremely cheerful and infectious sound. (Click here to hear his sound).

The other morning as I lay in bed in the darkness of the early hours, I was having a bit of a cry over some things that were weighing heavy on my heart.  As Derek and I lay there talking about things before the Lord together, we heard the Kookaburra start up his little trill just outside our window. He worked up to a loud and joyful belly laugh it seemed. He was announcing the breaking through of the day, the light breaking through into the darkness and he was doing it with a joyful spirit. I was reminded of this scripture verse;

Psalm 30:5 reads “Sorrow endures for an evening but joy comes in the morning”.

The sound and image of this little kookaburra also quickly reminded us both of creation’s joy when the Lord comes to judge the earth.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:7-9)

Now, I used to correlate judgement of the Lord upon the earth with something dreadful and fearful, and for some it will be.  However, it hadn’t occurred to me that the day of the Lord’s coming to judge the earth also means freedom for creation! That’s for all the critters, trees, mountains, birds of the air, fish of the sea, plants and all the animals! Because He will judge in righteousness and equity, He brings freedom and the setting of things right.  No wonder the rivers will clap their hands and the mountains will sing on this day!

Many scriptures speak of the joy of the whole earth – that’s the WHOLE earth, everything in it….

Psalm 48:2  – Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.

Psalm 65:8 – The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy

Isaiah 14:7 – The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.

Psalm 66:4 – All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.”

That day that the Lord comes to judge the earth will be a glorious day indeed! And the Kookaburras will laugh and laugh with songs of joy and celebration as they see Him coming to deliver the whole of creation through His righteous judgement.

…that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:21).

So next time (my Aussie brothers and sisters) that you hear the kookaburra laughing, or any one of us hear the joyful songs of the birds, sounds of leaves clapping in the trees, or waves applauding to the skies, we can be reminded of the glorious day when the Lord comes to judge the earth and set all of creation free.

Yes, laugh Kookaburra, laugh! For sorrow may endure for the evening but oh the joy that will come in the morning!




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