Are You A Judge?
Bible Reading for: April 14
When a Christian agrees with God and says something is wrong, we are often asked “who are you to Judge. Well, let me ask you, are you a judge?
Who are you to judge? Who am I to judge? Have you ever asked, or been asked those questions? I have found resistance from some individuals when I’ve said that some act or another is wrong. “Who are you to judge?” is often the indignant reply to a firm statement of right and wrong. Well, I am a sinner saved by grace, and my sin is no less egregious to God than any other person’s sin. As a fellow law breaker, I have no more right to “judge” others and their sin than a prisoner has the right to judge another prisoner.
The problem here is the misuse of the term “judge” when speaking about right and wrong. God provided, through His Word, a detailed list of right and wrong actions. To say “God says that stealing is wrong” is not judging another person who has stolen but rather quoting the law. If a thief says to another person “stealing is against the law and if you do it and get caught you’ll go to jail”, he is not “judging” he is quoting the law to you. To judge, is to sentence the guilty. The thief that says stealing is wrong is not judging, but rather telling you that there are consequences for the act of stealing. He didn’t make stealing wrong and he doesn’t determine guilt or sentencing.
In the same way, I, a sinner, am not judging a fellow sinner when I say that a particular act is wrong. I am just telling him that there are consequences to breaking the law. There is a Judge and He, not I, will pass sentence.
I have seen a number of preachers on the old “Larry King Live” show and have felt that most of them hem and haw when they are challenged about the statement that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. I’ve even heard some intimate that there “may be” more than one way to Heaven. I saw Rick Warren on this show, however, and he answered this question perfectly and without hesitation. Rick basically said, “I’m not saying that Larry; this book is” pointing at the Bible in his hands.
John 14:6 ESV
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
You and I don’t determine what is right and wrong; God does. That puts Christians at odds with secularists because the secularists believe they do determine what is right and wrong, and are terribly offended if anyone doesn’t share their judgment. Get the irony here. Christians don’t determine right and wrong; we point to what God determines as right and wrong. The secularists do determine what is right and wrong by their own standard and they have judged Christians as wrong for having quoted God’s standard. In Canada, and elsewhere in this world today, a Christian can go to jail if they read certain passages from the Bible to a group of people. The Christian has violated the secularist’s sense of right and wrong and they pass sentence in the form of public humiliation, heated vitriol, and jail time. Who are they to judge? In their mind, they are the only one to judge.
Now don’t get me started on hypocrisy. We Christians are also labeled as hypocrites on a routine basis. I assume this is because while we claim to be Christians, we still sin. Again, some seem to misuse a word. Hypocrisy isn’t saying something is wrong and then doing it yourself. Hypocrisy is saying something is wrong for everybody else but okay for you. So, I am not a hypocrite if I say stealing is wrong and then steal. I’m a hypocrite if I say stealing is wrong for you, but okay for me.
So, who is the hypocrite? In our scenario above the hypocrite is the secularist who says it’s wrong for me to judge but it isn’t wrong for him to judge. They deem it wrong to judge someone else, but aren’t they doing the same thing in judging me? In essence they are saying it is wrong for anybody to judge someone else except for them. The secularist is the hypocrite.
Okay, now that I have that off my chest, let’s talk about important things; God’s Word. The Israelites did not cleans themselves of the foreign peoples and their gods as God had directed at the start. It takes only a few years and Israel is inter-marrying with these peoples and worshipping their foreign gods. We do this as Christians. We accept the blessings of God but eventually take them for granted and wander off until other things take our focus from God. What happens next?
Like Israel, God allows troubles to develop in our lives to “test” us. Since God already knows where our hearts are, the test is intended to be self-revelatory. The struggles we have as we walk in this life are intended to grow us into the people God created us to be. Through a process of walking and falling down, a baby learns to walk. So, does a Christian. Having told His children not to wander off repeatedly, our Heaven Father will often let us wander off and fall down so we can learn not to wander off.
We see this in today’s reading. Once the Israelites have wandered far enough, and cry out for help from the consequences of their wandering, God sends “judges” to rescue them. These judges are not judges of the Law; the priests serve that function. They are not kings in the sense that they rule since at this stage in Israel’s existence God is their sovereign. These judges are more like God’s regent on earth. The people recognize God’s hand on the judge and they follow. These judges are faithful to God and call God’s people back to Him. Once the people have been restored they seem to do alright as long as the judge is alive and vigilant.
Men, I would like to suggest that you are to be this kind of judge for your family. You are to call your wife and children to God. You are to lead them in defeating the enemy that draws them away from God and lead them back to right relationship with God. You are to remain vigilant so that they will remain with God as long as you are with them, and hopefully longer.
Who are you to judge? You are God’s ordained leader in the family. You are to be a servant-leader, putting the wellbeing of each and every member of your family before your own. You are a judge of Israel!
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: 2 Samuel 23-24
Chronological Order: Psalms 11, 1 Samuel 18-20, Psalms 59
New Testament Only: Luke 10:21–42