Bread – Judging

September 13, 2017


Psalm 82

How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?  Selah”  Ps. 82:2

I have heard it said that, as Christians, we should not “judge” others.  Although this statement is a mistake when it comes to Christians “judging” other Christians (see 1 Cor. 5:12), it is also likely incorrect when applied to everyone because, although maybe we should not judge others before we first judge ourselves, the fact is that we do.  And that is not necessarily bad.

The problem is that the word “judging” has been equated to the word “condemning.”  Judging is not condemning; it is assessing what is being done or said by someone against a standard.  If the standard is a statute, then the judging occurs against the standard of the law.  If the standard is God’s revelation in His Word, then the judging occurs against the standard contained in His Word.

When the standard against which we measure is external to us, we can assess or judge objectively.  Did the objective behavior being judged meet the external standard or did it not?

When the standard against which we measure is internal to us (meaning that it is based on our personal sense of right and wrong, good and evil, etc.), we can only assess or judge subjectively.

The fact that we routinely judge (evaluate, assess) is the reason our insistence upon external standards (God’s Word or the “rule of law”) is so important.  If the standard is “relative to what I think” and the only standard that matters is the one I set internally, all judging will be condemning because, subjectively, “you” will never live up to whatever arbitrary standard I set in my own mind.

This “subjective” judging based on our relativistic “truth” is where we always go wrong.  Why do we judge unjustly?  Because we do not have an external standard (God’s Word) to which we relate.

Where does racism come from?  From our subjective standards that some people are better than others.  What God’s standards have to say about that is that all people were created by God.  That being the case, they are equal.

If we are judging unfairly, the answer is not to stop judging at all.  The answer is to judge according to the right criteria.

What is the right criteria?  The Word of God in Scripture and Jesus Christ.

Judge that.

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© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

Bread – Banners

April 10, 2017


Psalm 60

You [God] have set up a banner for those who fear You, that they may flee to it from the bow.”  Selah  Ps. 60:4

As I think about action pictures I have seen about wars a long time ago, what you always see are the standards of the fighting units carried high, so that the troops can rally around them.

This is the image created in my mind by this Psalm.  In the midst of turmoil, in the midst of day to day life, when we lift our eyes up we see the “banner” which God has “set up” for us to see and for us to flee to in the evil day.

For many Christians, that banner is the cross of Christ.

That cross was indeed set up by God so that it can be seen by those who fear God, who stand in awe of Him, but who are compelled by the Holy Spirit to follow it, to gather around it, to march behind it, to bow before it, and to offer thanksgiving for it.

And yet, like all banners, it is symbolic for the person or authority behind it.  The banner in the Psalm is set up by God but it is not God.   The cross is set up by God but it is not Christ.   We may flee to the banner because when we see it it, we know God is there, but at the same time we know that the banner is not God.

When we are in trouble, it is our nature to look around for a banner we can rally around.  But we often do not see one.  Why is that?

Maybe it is because God is raising up a banner, but the banner is not over there, it is here.  Maybe the banner is us.

How would we act if we knew that people flocked to us because we stood for God in the evil day?  Are we ready to let God set us up as a banner for those who fear Him?

Where are the banners for people to flock around?  The better question is, where are we?

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© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

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