Who do we judge?…and when?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 5:1-21

 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,  you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

“…God judges those outside….” How many of us when reading this passage skipped this part and went straight to purging the evil one…?  That is what we hear from among Christian brethren,  a clamor to purge the evil from the land meaning of course the heathen, not anyone in our number.  (yes, that was meant to be sarcastic)  The question is: at what point did the Christian world begin to judge those outside the fellowship?  There is much accusation of Christian believers sharing in this guilt.  Paul holds  a believing fellowship to high standards citing the spread of anti-God actions to others in the fellowship is much like yeast that will cause the whole loaf to rise.  But it stops there.  This holding one another to the standards set forth in the Word does not extend beyond the fellowship for that is the jurisdiction of God.  The Holy Spirit convicts and judges those outside a believing fellowship.  We are not set up as God’s policemen.  We are to protect and build up one another, however.  We do not adopt the standards of the world around us; when this is done the salt has lost its flavor.  We are to encourage one another in love and when those among us cannot rise to the standards set in the Scripture(note: not set by members of the fellowship) then and only then are we to “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Nations are but men…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 9

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;

​​I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

​​I will be glad and rejoice in You;

​​I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

​​When my enemies turn back,

​​They shall fall and perish at Your presence.

For You have maintained my right and my cause;

​​You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.

You have rebuked the nations,

​​You have destroyed the wicked;

​​You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

​​O enemy, destructions are finished forever!

​​And you have destroyed cities;

​​Even their memory has perished.

​​But the LORD shall endure forever;

​​He has prepared His throne for judgment.

 ​​He shall judge the world in righteousness,

​​And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,

​​A refuge in times of trouble.

​​And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;

​​For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion!

​​Declare His deeds among the people.

 ​​When He avenges blood, He remembers them;

​​He does not forget the cry of the humble.

 ​​Have mercy on me, O LORD!

​​Consider my trouble from those who hate me,

​​You who lift me up from the gates of death,

That I may tell of all Your praise

​​In the gates of the daughter of Zion.

​​I will rejoice in Your salvation.

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made;

​​In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.

The LORD is known by the judgment He executes;

​​The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

Meditation.  Selah

 ​​The wicked shall be turned into hell,

​​And all the nations that forget God.

 ​​For the needy shall not always be forgotten;

​​The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.

 ​​Arise, O LORD,

​​Do not let man prevail;

​​Let the nations be judged in Your sight.

Put them in fear, O LORD,

​​That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=9&t=nkjvp>

The Lord is just, judge, ruler, a destroyer of evil, avenger of  the oppressed, provider of salvation.  The conflict seen here is between humanity and God.  When there is truth and proper perspective the picture comes into focus.  Who God is and who we are in relation to him.  Where would we want to be?

Why would humanity want to take on God?  What have they achieved; that cannot be attributed to the gifts he has given?  How skewed is their view?  Who among us can create what the Creator has created without using something he has created?  Those functioning without belief in the Creator are open to selfish desires and often those desires bring harm to others.  The truth presented here is that when one plans for someone’s harm; those doing the planning are harmed.  The truth here allows that  there is a death that is forever; there is a life that is forever.  We can choose.  Life or death?

Let the Lord be judge…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Sitting outside under the spreading oak

listening to the wind as it moves through

the uppermost limbs of oak and stately pine

hearing the call of early morning birds

and the bray of the donkey down the road

Watching the dark night sky give way to

early morning light

May we be the light of the morning to

the dark night of humanity

May we share his light and love as the

rays of the sun share light and heat

May we live his words bearing fruit

that brings life to the dying world.

    -gracie

Psalm 7

O LORD my God, in You I put my trust;

​​Save me from all those who persecute me;

​​And deliver me,

​​Lest they tear me like a lion,

​​Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

​​O LORD my God, if I have done this:

​​If there is iniquity in my hands,

If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,

​​Or have plundered my enemy without cause, ​​Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;

​​Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,

​​And lay my honor in the dust. Selah

Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;

​​Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;

​​Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!

 ​​So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;

​​For their sakes, therefore, return on high.

The LORD shall judge the peoples;

​​Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness,

​​And according to my integrity within me.

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,

​​But establish the just;

​​For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.

My defense is of God,

​​Who saves the upright in heart.

 ​​God is a just judge,

​​And God is angry with the wicked every day.

 ​​If he does not turn back,

​​He will sharpen His sword;

​​He bends His bow and makes it ready.

He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;

​​He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.

 ​​Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;

​​Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.

​​He made a pit and dug it out,

​​And has fallen into the ditch which he made.

​​His trouble shall return upon his own head,

​​And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.

​​I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness,

​​And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=7&t=nkjvp>

Why take refuge in the Lord?  Because he is mightier!  What becomes of those who practice evil?  They are caught in their own traps.  The Lord God judges, not we the people.  And we praise him for that.

Father of love or judge?

Ezekiel 39:1-10

1 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, [fn1] Meshech, and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken,” says the Lord GOD. 6 “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord GOD. “This is the day of which I have spoken.

9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord GOD.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=39&v=1&t=NKJVP>

A holy name, know that I am God, a judge, a father, a shepherd, we see all of this in our quest for knowledge of the nature of God.

“…Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel….”

There are those who would focus only on the caring, loving  God, as children would rather focus on a father who plays with them, buys them stuff and acts in love towards them.  There is another facet however; that is the facet of judge and disciplinarian.  Ezekiel gives ample evidence that God is not pleased with those who turn away from him.  There are consequences for our actions. There is a penalty for sin.  We tend to forget we will reap what we sow;  if we have sown seeds of hate, discord, rebellion, in our time here, we will reap its harvest.

“…Galatians 6:7,8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting….”

If we reject the cross and the savior who took the penalty for our sin we are left facing the Father God who judges.

For eternity, which begins now, we will have forgiveness when and if we go to the cross and accept what Christ has done.  Our penalty is removed, we are new; we will sow new seeds for a better harvest. The message given to Ezekiel was a message against the idolatry, pride, self-absorption of mankind.  That message is from God, the word of God and He is forever;  yesterday, today and forever.  The warning is given to mankind; there are consequences for turning away from God.  This message needs to be given for all time.  The way of the cross gives opportunity for salvation from the penalty for sin.  For those who deny the cross the penalty remains.  And God’s judgment is firm. What is our take away?  Be thankful for the cross and what Christ did for us.  Then be faithful to give the message of redemption  to those who cross our paths.  Let the warning continue to be heard and the freedom of the cross be heard so the Father we face is the Father of love rather than the Father of discipline, the Father who judges.  His message is clear:

“…I will not let them profane My holy name anymore….”

“It’s not fair…God is not just…” — He … WILL … judge.

Ezekiel 33: 12 -20

“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=33&v=1&t=NKJVP>

“…The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair!…”  Do we hear this today?  The grumbling and complaining, the pointing of fingers, the lack of responsibility.  A phrase that seems to go along with this is:  “It’s not my fault.” Blame goes in all directions away from the individual speaking.  Will this be judged?  God’s Word is true and just.  It does not fail.  On which side of the coin would we like to be?  Obedience to His commands, or disobedience with the complaining and lack that come with it?

Obey or disobey, all of humanity’s living or dying flows from this.  Who will judge, man or God?  Have we obeyed or not?  Obedience brings life, disobedience brings death.  We are judged, not by each other but by the one, the only one, who has the power to destroy the soul, which lives for eternity. And that would be God. – Jesus

“..Luke 12:5  “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!…”

Obedience that flows from love, love of the Master and love for our fellow humanity will ensure life.  When we stand before God, and we will, he will look for the blood of Christ upon us and our obedience to his commands.  When we love in this way in is not difficult to obey because it becomes what we want to do!

“…Matthew 7:21-24 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:…”

Jesus was the supreme example of obedience – even to the cross.  Thankfully, his obedience brings redemption to those who embrace the cross.  Embracing the cross is taking on Christ and so we are changed to righteousness in him and obedience will flow.  When others look at us and our words and actions, do they see Jesus?  Search our hearts, O Lord, and know our thoughts.

“…Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!…”

May we see Jesus in each other, the righteousness of God, not man.  May we follow His teachings, not man’s.

“… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, …” – Jesus.

by Maranatha Singers

Words that span time…

Ezekiel 21:24-32

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand.

25 ‘Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end, 26 thus says the Lord GOD:

​​“Remove the turban, and take off the crown;

​​Nothing shall remain the same.

​​Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted.

27 ​​Overthrown, overthrown,

​​I will make it overthrown!

​​It shall be no longer,

​​Until He comes whose right it is,

​​And I will give it to Him.” ’
A Sword Against the Ammonites

28 “And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach,’ and say:

​‘​A sword, a sword is drawn,

​​Polished for slaughter,

​​For consuming, for flashing—

29 ​​While they see false visions for you,

​​While they divine a lie to you,

​​To bring you on the necks of the wicked, the slain

​​Whose day has come,

​​Whose iniquity shall end.

30 ​‘​Return it to its sheath.

​​I will judge you

​​In the place where you were created,

​​In the land of your nativity.

31 ​​I will pour out My indignation on you;

​​I will blow against you with the fire of My wrath,

​​And deliver you into the hands of brutal men who are skillful to destroy.

32 ​​You shall be fuel for the fire;

​​Your blood shall be in the midst of the land.

​​You shall not be remembered,

​​For I the LORD have spoken.’ ”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=21&t=nkjvp>

Isn’t it amazing?  The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel and he shared what he was given, he did what he was told, he was obedient and history tells us it came to pass.  In this passage we see the words used by Jesus centuries later.  We are reminded that Jesus said he only speaks what he hears the Father say, the words given to him by the Father.  The words refer to he who is last shall be first, he who is least shall be greatest.

“…Mark 9:35   And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Luke 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”…”

Human nature has a competitive streak.  That attribute hinders true humility for what is competition but the drive to do and be better than someone else?

Is there a word to us today?  Judgment came because of insults against the Lord and his people.  Should we be ever mindful of how we treat one another?  Also we are reminded often to prefer one another – that would be the opposite of competition.  The Christian world appears to be in competition with one another rather than uniting and following the Lord’s lead to work together for the kingdom of God.  If we are busy about our Father’s business, as Jesus said, we don’t have time to judge or insult one another.  If we are about caring for one another, building one another up in the faith we won’t be competing, dragging one another down.  The Lord brought judgment against the prince of Israel and then also against the people of Ammon.  No one is exempt from the consequences of their actions.  One for a haughty and prideful nature and the other for disrespecting God and his people.  We will not be found guilty of either if we are acting in love toward one another as Christ commanded.  That love comes from him; we receive it when we receive him.  It is done.

Who are you to judge another…

Romans 14:1-12

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;  and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and rose  and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written:
As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

We all belong to the Lord and that leaves no room for us to pass judgment on one another.  The Lord will do the judging.  We answer to the Lord for ourselves not for one another.  We are held to account to him not to one another.  Accept…without passing judgment.