1. Lens one is the Kingdom of God where all are measured by the standard of God’s holiness. It’s easy to demonstrate that God’s Word teaches we all happily rebel against God and live for Self. We are unholy criminals and need to be rescued from the penalty of our sins.
2. Lens two is the Kingdom of Man. The kingdom of man is governed by God’s institution—human government. Yes, government was God’s idea (Romans 13:1-7; Genesis 9:1-7) and is only as good as it enforces God’s moral law—that which we, by nature, know is wrong. The role of the government is to punish evil and promote justice. Unlike the Kingdom of God where all are guilty under the Gospel, in the Kingdom of Man not all are guilty because not all are violators of civil law. So, before I was saved through faith in Christ, I was guilty in the Kingdom of God but not in the Kingdom of Man. (I’ve had a few speeding tickets in my day but justice was served and I became a little poorer.) There are many Scripture verses that show God looking at humanity through both these lenses (Deuteronomy 16:18-20; Proverbs 17:26, Rom. 13, etc.)
God can refer to someone as judicially innocent under civil law yet still a rebel at heart when measured against the law of God’s character. This makes sense since civil law is external (don’t commit murder) and God’s law is internal (hatred in the heart is murder, 1 John 3:15). So when we look at humanity through these two biblical lenses we can rejoice when justice is exacted upon the guilty who murder the innocent (according to civil law in the kingdom of man) and yet my rejoicing must be tempered by the fact that I stand before God as a terrorist of His glory and in need of grace (according to the law of God’s character expressed in the Gospel).
This discrete rejoicing is the spirit of Scripture. Proverbs 11:10 says, “When it goes well with the righteous the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.” Proverbs 21:15 says, “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, but is terror to the workers of iniquity.” Psalm 58:10-11 says, “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet