“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
-This scripture could not have come a better time, when people are going on holiday. It’s a good time to settle scores that have existed in the short-term & long-term durations. A time to share with the less fortunate & those that the Lord will direct us to. A time to share love with our families, friends & neighbours. A time to share joy with those we love. A time to give thanks to God for what He has done for us the whole year. The scripture has reclassified forgiveness into three sections, first is to refrain from judging others, abstain from condemning others & absolve those who wrong us. Generosity has not been left out. When we give; it is for our own good, be it forgiveness, food, resources, love etc., it will be given back to us in good measure.
-Judge in Hebrew is written as shaphat & it means vindicate, punish, condemn, rule, govern & deliver. The judges comprised of Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, Shamgar, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Eli & Samuel.
-After the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, Moses solely solved their disputes before Jethro his father in law advised him to assign more men to assist him discharge judicial functions over minor issues among the people. These were men of truth, who feared God & hated covetousness, so that they would not pervert justice (Ex 18:21-22). The Israelites later settled in Canaan, did evil in the sight of the Lord & their neighbours from Mesopotamia oppressed them. They cried to God in prayer & He bestowed His Spirit came upon Othniel; the first judge who led them to war & emerged victorious (Judg 3:9-10). Most judges like Othniel delivered the Israelites from the hands of their oppressors before the system of kings was formalised. The Spirit of the Lord also came upon judges like Gideon who defeated the Midianites with his 300 troops (Judg 8:28), Jephthah who defeated the Ammonites (Judg 11:32) & Samson who conquered the Philistines with a jawbone of a donkey (Judg 15:16). In the New Testament, Apostle Paul recognised Gideon, Jephthah, Samson & Samuel as hero’s of faith; strong & valiant in battle who delivered the Israelites from their enemies (Heb 11:32). Kings later took over leadership from judges in Israel. Kings in the present time; just like judges are required to exhibit good character & seek Gods’ wisdom in their leadership role (Ps 2:10). According to Exo 23:6-8, justice can be perverted when the poor are oppressed in their disputes, when false matters are given credit, death sentence is executed on the innocent & the righteous, taking bribes & corruption in office which blinds the discerning & perverts words of the righteous. All judges should be a reflection of Christ in their character & decisions. He is our righteous Judge & Saviour Who delivered us from our main enemy; sin & death, that we may inherit eternal life. In Rev 20:11-15, death & hades will be cast into the lake of fire & Christ seated on the great white throne, pure & only One worthy of vengeance will judge the dead according to the books. In His judgement; the Book of Life will be used to justify us; after which the New Jerusalem will replace the old heaven & earth with light that spells out all darkness for eternal life to reign forever. It is clear from Luke 6:37-38; that if we refrain from judging others; we will not be judged & whatever scale we use in forgiveness, it shall be used unto us. We should therefore submit to God, for He is faithful to give us His fruit & gifts that we remain in Him & He in us.
In humble adoration we submit to You Father, increase our love for You & for those around us. Help us to forgive all those who have offended us & refrain from judging, & condemning others. May Your mercy impart compulsion in us so that we may support those who need us most. Forgive us our trespasses Father & help us to maintain good relations with You & those we interact with. Thank You for all the good You have done unto us throughout the year, we praise You. We glorify You Father, everyday for You are worthy of all praises; now & forever. Amen
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