God the Righteous Judge

balance scalesRight now, I’m reading through the Old Testament prophets. In these pages God, the Righteous Judge, lifted up and tore down kingdoms to accomplish his divine plan. He punished those who turned their lives against him, and blessed those who turned their lives toward him.

God was not to blame for handing down his judgement upon his people then, and he isn’t to blame for handing down his judgement now.

In one of Billy Graham’s devotions in his devotional, Hope for Each Day, Rev. Graham asks who’s to blame; the judge for sentencing the criminal, or the criminal for committing the crime? He goes on to ask if someone deliberately commits a crime and is caught, is the judge to blame for sentencing the criminal, or is the criminal to blame for the sentence he receives?

Yes. The judge is the one who hands down the sentence, but he did so by following the law. The judge is not the one who broke the law.

At the time of the Old Testament prophets, the Israelites worshiped multiple gods, made altars and sacrificed to those gods. Sometimes, they even offered their children as burnt sacrifices. They turned their back on the One True Living God and worshiped idols made by man. They still wanted and expected God’s blessing, but they wanted to do whatever they pleased while receiving it.

Time and time again, God sent warnings to his people. He gave them opportunity after opportunity to repent, get rid of the things in their lives that displeased God, and be restored to a relationship with him. But they refused.

God, The Righteous Judge, sent his rebellious people into captivity. He never stopped loving them, but there were consequences for their actions. His plan all along was to restore them to a relationship with himself, but it would be on his terms.

Like an earthly judge, God hands down the sentence and consequences we, the criminals, deserve. As in Billy Graham’s example, when we break God’s laws, we can’t blame God for the punishment we receive. It’s our fault we sinned, not God’s.

But thanks be to God, when we belong to Jesus and claim him as our Lord and Savior, we don’t have to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus took our debt upon his perfect sinless self and paid the debt we owed, but could never pay. He paid our sin-debt with his blood sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

We deserve the punishment, but the Righteous Judge made a way for us to be spared when he didn’t spare his own son.

God loved the world so much he sent his only son to this world to die a horrible death for us. As the Righteous Judge, God is not to blame if we don’t accept his perfect gift.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

For God did not send His Son into the world to say it is guilty. He sent His Son so the world might be saved from the punishment of sin by Him. John 3:17 (NLV)

You can find my October Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Sunday Scriptures — VIP

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

For Christmas this past December one of the gifts my son, Pie, gave me was Billy Graham’s Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions.

It’s a rather hefty-sized book of 755 devotions. One for the morning. One for the evening. Hence, the title. 🙂

Three years ago I wrote a blog post about a way cool VIP tour Pilot and I took of the Space Shuttle mock-up at Johnson Space Center. I found it interesting the January 6 morning devotion in Hope for Each Day titled, “Vision, Integrity, Presence” takes our concept of VIP and looks at it in a different way. A God-honoring way.

I’d like to share what Billy Graham said in his devotional.

  • V: VISION means seeing what can be done, what ought to be done, and how to get it done.
  • I:  INTEGRITY means a person is the same on the inside as he or she appears on the outside.
  • P:  PRESENCE means having God’s presence in our lives.

There you go. VIP. Vision, integrity, and presence. When we keep those three words in their proper perspective in our lives, I believe we will indeed become a true VIP – very important person – in the eyes of the One whose opinion truly matters.

How do you live with vision, integrity, and presence?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Where there is ignorance of God, crime runs wild; but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep his laws. Proverbs 29:18 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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