Justified Forevermore


As far as any eye could see

There was no green. But every tree

Was cinder black, and all the ground

Was gray with ash. The only sound

War arid wind, like spirits’ ghosts,

Gasping for some living hosts

In which to dwell, as in the days

Of evil men, before the blaze

Of unimaginable fire

Had made the earth a flaming pyre

For God’s omnipotent display

Of holy rage.

The dreadful Day

Of God had come. The moon had turned

To blood. The sun no longer burned

Above, but, blazing with desire,

Had flowed into a lake of fire.

The seas and oceans were no more,

And in their place a desert floor

Fell deep to meet the brazen skies,

And silence conquered distant cries.

The Lord stood still above the air.

His mighty arms were moist and bare.

They hung, as weary, by his side,

Until the human blood had dried

Upon the sword in his right hand.

He stared across the blackened land

That he had made, and where he died.

His lips were tight, and deep inside,

The mystery of sovereign will

Gave leave, and it began to spill

In tears upon his bloody sword

For one last time.

And then the Lord

Wiped every tear away, and turned

To see his bride. Her heart had yearned

Four thousand years for this: His face

Shone like the sun, and every trace

Of wrath was gone. And in her bliss

She heard the Master say, “Watch this:

Come forth, all goodness from the ground

Come forth, and let the earth redound

With joy.”

And as he spoke, the throne

Of God came down to earth and shone

Like golden crystal full of light,

And banished, once for all, the night.

And from the throne a stream began

To flow and laugh, and as it ran

It made a river and a lake,

And everywhere it flowed, a wake

Of grass broke on the banks and spread

Like resurrection from the dead.

And in the twinkling of an eye

The saints descended from the sky.

And as I knelt beside the brook

To drink eternal life, I took

A glance across the golden grass,

And saw my dog, old Blackie, fast

As she could come. She leaped the stream–

Almost– and what a happy gleam

Was in her eye. I knelt to drink,

And knew that I was on the brink

Of endless joy. And everywhere

I turned I saw a wonder there.

A big man running on the lawn:

That’s old John Younge with both legs on.

The blind can see a bird on wing,

The dumb can lift their voice and sing.

The diabetic eats at will,

The coronary runs uphill.

The lame can walk, the deaf can hear,

The cancer-ridden bone is clear.

Arthritic joints are lithe and free,

And every pain has ceased to be.

And every sorrow deep within,

And every trace of lingering sin

Is gone. And all that’s left is joy,

And endless ages to employ

The mind and heart, and understand,

And love the sovereign Lord who planned

That it should take eternity

To lavish all his grace on me.

O, God of wonder, God of might,

Grant us some elevated sight,

Of endless days. And let us see

The joy of what is yet to be.

And may your future make us free,

And guard us by the hope that we,

Through grace on lands that you restore,

Are justified forevermore.

—- John Piper, from Future Grace

One Reply to “Justified Forevermore”

  1. Like the Isreialites looked forward to the promise land, so I look forward to the new heaven and new earth, particularly to see me severely disabled grand-daughter dance in freedom.

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