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“So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man and he said to Nathan: ‘ As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!”  2 Samuel 12:5

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged……”  Matthew 7:1

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” so the old saying goes.  If I’m willing to take my own medicine, am I not justified in forcing that medicine onto another I judge to be diseased or evil?  Let’s take a moment to look at this in a real life.

As we have read earlier, David is a king.  Great in victories, great in wealth, great in wisdom, great in popularity; loving of and loved by God.  He has it all; well…………..not exactly.  What he does not have is Bathsheba who he sees bathing next door.  He takes her, sleeps with her, impregnates her and to cover all that up, has her husband, in every respect a good and decent man, killed.

So now David should be feeling really terrible about himself.  David should have judged himself unworthy; confessed his crime which would have surely meant giving up the throne and most probably being stoned to death.  David, I’m sure you will judge rightly and do the honorable thing.  Hmmm, David?  Hello David? This not exactly what David does.

Scripture tells us that after Bathsheba’s husband is killed in battle (murdered, set up secretly by David), she goes through the mourning period and then David brings her into his palace to be his queen; seemingly as if nothing nefarious had happened.  But remember, God sees what others don’t.  God sees the heart.  God will not let this sin go.  There is a prophet in Israel named Nathan.  God sends Nathan to David.  Nathan has a plan.  Nathan does not come directly out and confront King David with his evil deeds.  No, Nathan wants King David himself to see and understand the disgusting treachery which he has committed against an innocent man.

Here’s where the judgement, and the danger of judging others comes into play.  For Nathan tells King David a story of two of his subjects.  One is meek, poor, innocent but a good man.  The other is a rich, vile, greedy, powerful man.  What’s interesting in the story is that the rich man did not kill the poor man.  But the rich man, who had flocks and flocks of wonderful sheep, takes the one lamb that the poor man has and kills and eats it instead of taking one from his own flock.  King David is outraged at the rich man’s greed, insensitivity and arrogant behavior against the poor man.  He pronounces the judgement, even invoking the Lord’s name within it:  This man shall die!

Nathan then springs the trap.  “David, you are that rich man!” Nathan tells him.  You are the one with riches and many lambs; in this case wives.  You saw a wife of another, a good man who had only one but who loved her dearly and you took her.  If that was not bad enough, you killed the husband to have her.  At least we can say this about David; when the veil is removed and it is shown to him, how evil he has acted, David does not try to bluff, bargain or excuse his way out of it.  David’s response?  “I have sinned against the Lord!”

Here’s the lesson for you and I, dear brothers and sisters.  David was so willing to judge the story of the two men.  He was so quickly ready to rein down devastation in righteous indignation to the rich man who had abused the poor man.  King David, who had many wives himself, but saw no real problem in killing to get just one more, who was not overwhelmed by guilt but continued on in his kingship, this same King David felt completely righteous in condemning another to the ultimate penalty for an offense lessor than his own.

David was far removed from being able to apply the same judgement to himself, that he would easily apply to others.  Wise was Jesus in talking about the planks of wood in our own eyes, versus the splinters in other people’s eyes. Wise was Our Savior in extolling us to first look to ourselves and leave the judging to the Only One who is perfect, who has nothing blocking His Vision in judgement.

Perhaps a final question you might ask is:  Are you saying that I should at least be judging myself?  Should I not be pronouncing a sentence of condemnation upon my own head for my own deeds?  Having sinned, should I not go through life under a cloud of judgement?  The devil might tell us to.  Yet Paul, through the Holy Spirit, answers us totally different.  We, who by the Grace of God, believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are saved from condemnation and death by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  If I am not and have no right to judge others; then I also have no right to judge even myself.  God has the right.  Our Heavenly Father has seen fit to be merciful as on He can.  Saving us from judgement to life ever lasting. Amen

So let it be that in response; we live a life in the spirit; attempting with all of our being not to sin.  Yet understand we are imperfect flesh and imperfect spirit and we will sin.  Others will sin.  Let us truly repent and urge others to do likewise.  Yet let us refrain from pronouncing any sort of judgement on others or ourselves.  Let love be our guide.  Let the Love, Mercy and Forgiveness, Our Heavenly Father shows to us daily, be the example we strive to live to each other.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have seen fit to respond to our sins’; our evil thoughts, words and deeds with mercy and forgiveness instead of the Judgement we deserve.  Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, that we may come blameless into Your Presence.  Give us the strength to avoid the temptation of judging whether it be others or ourselves.  That each day, by Your Example, we may live a life closer to sinless perfection.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

“Judge not and you shall not be judged……For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:37-38

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”  John 3:17

First I must point out that I am not a biblical scholar,  so as I look at the similarities of the two words:  judge and blame, I can not verify how close the two words are in Greek or Hebrew, from which the original scriptures were written.  Hopefully, if I am off the mark biblically, someone with that knowledge will correct in a reply and I will make sure that I post it.

As I look at the meanings on the website:  www.dictionary.com, I see that to judge is to form an opinion; to decide critically or conclude about.  As for  the word blame, to place the responsibility for or find fault with.  I find there to be a simularities to the concepts of these words as well as a connection to the process of their use.  The way it seems to work today I will judge, and as I  judge, I will at some point inevitably conclude that something is wrong and I will then decide who is to blame.

So what is the issue with doing that? What harm is there, especially if I have certain training or wisdom that would help me to assess blame?  While this next concept is not definitively included in the strict definition of the word blame, it seems to be intrinsically connected to the process of blame.  In today’s society, it appears once we assess who’s to blame, we make them solely responsible for rectifying the wrong for which we have judged them to blame.  Fill in the blank:  You have not __________________, therefore I am not going to do __________________________, until you have fixed (or done) ________________.  So then the party who is doing the judging steps back and waits until the party who has been blamed fixes the issue and then they’ll resume working (or in some cases even interacting) with them.   And therein lies some fundamental problems.  First, what if I, the blamed party, agree that I failed to do something or did it wrong, but yet have no earthly idea how to either accomplish it or fix what I have done wrong.  While the person(s) who judged me is waiting for me to act; nothing is getting accomplished.  Of course, secondly, I may not agree at all that I have done anything worthy of blame and therefore while you’re waiting for me to do something, I flatly refuse to accept your judgement and again nothing gets accomplished.  I may even have my own opposite judgement that holds you to be at fault so I will not do anything until you act.  Now no one is working to fix whatever issue is at hand.  Do we not see this playing out time after time in today’s world:  Between governments, within governments, between companies, within companies, between families, within families, within churches?

I can hear some saying, okay here we go; no one is held accountable.  Is that what I am saying?  Is that what Jesus said?  Did Jesus say that the woman caught in adultery did not sin?  Of course not he says to her: “Go and sin no more.”  Is Jesus saying that no one will ever do something against you?  No, but he does say you should forgive that person 70×7 times!  But now I hear the question:  well that’s all well and good for the person who is wrong, but how does that help me!?

So, there are two aspects to look at from this.  First, Jesus Christ is God who came from heaven to earth.  As such, being God, he is perfect.  Yet with that perfection, this is what he said about judgement:  “For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” John 13:47.  If, Jesus Christ, who’s knowledge is perfect, does not judge the world, why, with out limited knowledge,  do we think that we are entitled to judge others?  And why, if we, in a practical sense, hold certain individuals, doctors, police officers, pastors to the level of perfection, do we not accept that same level of perfection aimed at us as we carry out our daily tasks?

Second, and from both a practical as well as spiritual sense, there is much good for us to not blame and wait around for the other party to fix.  I have been teaching adults for over 30 years.  Countless times, students have not performed up to the standard that was required by the class requirements.  I could have blamed the student for their performance and told them to go out and fix the problem, study more or something and come back when they are more prepared.  However, what I found more effective is to work with the student(s) and not just more effective for them.  Each time I worked with students, I found that I learned something more about people as well as what I was teaching.  I found that I learned more about the ability to lead, to listen, to collaborate to problem solve, all things I would have missed had I not taken to time to work with the other people.

Jesus Christ had every right to judge us.  Afterall He was there and a vital part of our creation.  Jesus had the choice to blame us from heaven and not even come down.  Once Jesus Christ was on earth and saw how we behaved, He had every right to condemn us and if you don’t think He had the power, remember what He did to the fig tree.  Christ didn’t condemn us, He saved us.  Jesus didn’t destroy us, He died for us.  Let each of us then not be about the process of judging, blaming and condemning each other.  Let us be like Christ and Love each other.  Striving to Glorify the Name of the Father, by following the example of the Son.  In Jesus Christ’s Name we pray.

Amen

Editor’s note:  Some readers have left replies asking for responses to their emails.  I try to ensure that I reply to each comment though sometimes the email address listed comes back undeliverable.  So if you don’t get an email response, please come back to the post where you left the message to read the response posted there.  Thank you and blessings to all.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  John 3:17

There are many high profile cases in the news these days.  Politicians for fraud, parents for killing their children, actors for ridiculous acts…everywhere it seems judgement is at hand.  If it is not in actual trials, we hear about all sorts of lies, evil and despicable acts.  So it would seem that judgement is or at least should be at hand.  It would seem that our case is in the hands of the cosmic jury and that the verdict would be soon to come.  The way this world sees justice, I think we better be looking for a pretty good plea deal because we’re going to be doing some time and deservedly so.

Yet as the echo of the gavel fades into the courtroom and we fear that we are being led away to our sentence, He will stand up.  “Your Honor” He will say. “That Price has already been paid; that sentence has been carried out.  That one you have convicted is FREE!  He will proclaim.

The judge answers back: “Who are you to make such a proclamation on this person’s behalf?”

I am Jesus Christ!  He will proclaim.  And I have paid the price in full for this one’s transgression. 

“So be it” the judge will decree.  He that was convicted is free.

You see whether the jury is still out on us or not makes no difference.  The verdict may (and at some point will) come back that we are guilty.  But for those who believe that Jesus Christ is the one true Son of God, we are forgiven.  The horrible penalty that we deserve has already been paid by Christ.  What do we owe in return?  That we Love Christ and our Heavenly Father.  That we repent of our sins.  We can live in joy knowing that He who would judge is He who has already saved. 

There is no need for a higher appeal.

 

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