Judge Dredd?

Judge Dredd was a character from the 2000 AD comic line (http://www.2000adonline.com/vault/series/dredd ), which I sometimes got to read growing up.  I preferred Dan Dare and his wars with The Mekon( http://www.dandare.com/) which were running in the same comic, but Judge Dredd was fascinating.  He had this complete assurance that he was the embodiment of justice.  In 1995 the movies postmodernised Judge Dredd and made him conflicted in his sense of justice.  At the beginning of the movie Sly Stallone, as Dredd, bellows ‘I am the Law’.  By the end he is not so sure.  No mortal really is going to uphold the law perfectly.  We break the codes laid down by God, society and even our own selves.  God is greater than the idea of Judge Dredd.  God is a fearsome being without equal, and without flaw.  The vision of righteous judgement in Psalm 50 is meant to be terrifying.  Sly Stallone on his motorbike doesn’t really cut it:

Maybe the new Judge Dredd movie will be better http://movies.ign.com/articles/108/1088683p1.html .

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

 1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
   speaks and summons the earth
   from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
   God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
   and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
   and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
   and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
   who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
   for he is a God of justice.[a][b]

 7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
   I will testify against you, Israel:
   I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
   or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
   or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
   and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
   and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
   for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
   or drink the blood of goats?

 14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
   fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
   I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

 16But to the wicked person, God says:

   “What right have you to recite my laws
   or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
   and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
   you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
   and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
   and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
   you thought I was exactly[c] like you.
But I now arraign you
   and set my accusations before you.

 22 “Consider this, you who forget God,
   or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
   and to the blameless[d] I will show my salvation.”


  1. What surrounds God in this chapter?
  2. How is the psalmist and agent of God’s justice?
  3. How is God’s justice reconciled with God’s love?
  4. How does the media present justice?
  5. How are you a balanced agent of God’s justice?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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3 Responses to Judge Dredd?

  1. icepick2000 says:

    1. It seems that glory, sin, and wickedness surround God in this psalm. Perhaps Zion also?

    2. The psalmist acts as God’s messenger here. He is telling those in good standing with God that they can rejoice for God’s salvation is theirs. He warns those that are against God what their judgment is going to be, and the hope for those who love God.

    3. Because God loves, God must hate. This is inseparable. His love informs how He will use His wrath. To have perfect love, one must have justice. Its the only way it can work.

    4. Media doesn’t know what justice is. They portray justice as revenge. There are tons of movies where a family member or friend is killed, and the rest of the movie is them going out and killing the people that are even semi-responsible. I love in the movie “Batman Begins” where Bruce is struggling with this same thing. This movie goes against the media norm. Bruce is sitting in his car with Rachel and Bruce is talking about his fathers death from a criminal. Bruce says that he wanted to kill his dad’s murderer and that sometimes justice and revenge are the same thing. Rachel says that justice and revenge is never the same. Rachel says that revenge is about making yourself feel good and that this isnt justice. I was glad that this movie at least made that huge distinction so commonly overlooked.

    5. Well, God calls me to love the world but also to hate it. I am to love the people and try to show them to Christ, but I am also supposed to denounce false ideas, worldviews, beliefs, and actions. I am to rejoice in God’s love for us as well as for His judgment upon the wicked.

  2. Meredith Frank says:

    1. What surrounds God in this chapter? His Glory? Man’s sin?
    2. How is the psalmist an agent of God’s justice? He serves as a messenger for God. He warns the sinner of God’s coming wrath and tells of the blessings being prepared for the godly.
    3. How is God’s justice reconciled with God’s love? Because God loves, He gives man two choices: 1) Mercy 2) Justice The one who chooses to follow God chooses mercy and the wicked on chooses justice.
    4. How does the media present justice? Oftentimes, in movies, justice functions as revenge.
    5. How are you a balanced agent of God’s justice? In my classroom, I will show mercy when the situation call for it and justice when it is necessary.

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