Who Are You To Judge
Bible Reading for: January 13
Who are you to judge? There is a Judge but it isn’t you or me.
Well, today’s reading, Genesis 33-35, takes us further along this walk Jacob is taking. Yesterday he started to understand that all that he has, and all that he is to become, is from the Lord. He changed yesterday. No, he hasn’t suddenly become perfect. He is going to continue to make mistakes and we will see that his sons have grown up under his worldly example and will, thus, make their own horrible choices. Jacob, however, is a changed man. He is on the right road now and will start to slowly make progress in becoming the man God intends him to be.
Today’s reading takes us through Jacob’s reconciliation with Esau, Jacob’s reunion with his father, the defilement of Jacob’s daughter Dinah, the bloody murder of the males of Schechem by Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi in retaliation, the birth of Benjamin, the death of Rachel, and the death of Isaac. There is a lot going on here. In Genesis 34:30 we see that Jacob’s concern about the slaughter and pillage of innocent people is the potential for the neighboring peoples to attack him. His concern shows that, in this, his heart is not in the right place. We also see, however, in Genesis 35:2 that Jacob tells his family to get rid of their foreign gods and to purify themselves. Jacob is growing into the man God wants him to be in fits and starts. We’ll see this pattern throughout his life.
Again, does this not sound a lot like you and me? Now I’m not saying it is okay to sin; that God doesn’t care about sin. In fact, the opposite is true. God cares very much about sin. Sin separates you from God’s presence. He loves you so much that he wants you cleansed of sin so you can be in His presence. That is why Christ died for you and me. His sacrifice pays the debt of your sin. If you have accepted Christ as your savior, however, when you stumble like Jacob did, the Holy Spirit, which now lives with in you, is going to make you feel bad about it. This is to discipline you and help you to make different choices in the future.
I’m reminded of what Pastor Jim Cross has often said: “We are saved. We are being saved. We will be saved.” We are corrupted creatures. We will stumble, but with Christ we are able to stand again, dust ourselves off and start over. This process of growing into the man God wants you to be is called sanctification. Sanctification means we are saved, we are being saved, we will be saved.
Interestingly enough, what is on my mind as I think about today’s reading is the misconception the Lost have about authentic Christians. Have you heard the phrase “Holier than thou”? I know a number of Lost that seem to think that Christians view themselves as better than everybody else. What I know is that, as a Christian, I am no better than the vilest of sinners. A mass murderer; a rapist; a pedophile; are all sinners just like me.
I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover and do you know what I didn’t find? There is no graduated scale on sin. We humans think that a white lie is a small thing and murder a big thing. We excuse sin in ourselves because it isn’t as bad as the other guy. God said “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. He did not say “but the occasional lie is okay just as long as you don’t murder someone”.
Before a Holy God, we are all filthy. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean I am no longer a sinner; that I am better than non-Christians. It means I am like everyone else, a sinner, but I am forgiven. I can take no pride in being a Christian for it is not in my power but by the grace of God that I am so. I take pride in a God that loves us all so much that He has provided a way for all, who are willing, to be with Him in eternity. I am not a hypocrite because I sometimes stumble in sin. Sin is wrong whether I can live a perfect life or not. If I sin and say it is not sin when I do it, then I am a hypocrite.
I also take offense at this statement many a lost person will make: “Who are you to judge.” It completely misses the point. I am not the judge and never claimed to be. God is the Judge. Telling you the verdict of the Judge is not judging, it is warning. “You have been judged. You have been found guilty. The sentence is death.” But, as Paul Harvey used to say: “And now for the rest of the story”. The judge came down off the bench and got up on the gallows. He served your sentence. All you have to do is accept His substitution. If you don’t, you’ll have to serve the sentence yourself.
We have a loving God, both Old Testament and New, who has saved us, is saving us and growing us into the men He intends us to be, and he will save us on that day when we face Him in Heaven. My hope is that on that day, when I see my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ face to face, He will say to me “Well done my good and faithful servant”. I’ve got work to do if I want to make good on that hope. I have to rely on God and His power and submit to His will. Why is something so simple so hard for us to do? I don’t know, but with God’s grace and guidance each and every one of us can make it! I’ll see ya there!
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Job 31–32
Old Testament Only: Genesis 28:1–29:30
New Testament Only: Matthew 9:18–10:4
Plane truth about the Gospel. We are sinners, no better than another sinner. Like Jacob, being sanctified and molded. Thank God for his grace and mercy to continue to work with us and forgive our sins
I love your comments brother. Every time I read them I say Amen!