Posts Tagged ‘judgment’


Hunger is a strange feeling.  It is a wanting after waiting; a need that becomes louder and louder until it is satisfied.

Often, we try to fill our spiritual hunger with physical food (or other things.)  It is when I am spiritually hungry that I tend to “stress eat.”  I find myself losing control of my diet when I hunger and thirst most for righteousness.  Nothing proves this truer than fasting because fasting reveals to us all the things we are wanting that eating physical food is substituting for.

I have recently felt a strong spiritual need to become physically hungry again.  Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and I am praying that the Lord helps me with this struggle.

In doing so, the first place I turned was to Matthew 5 – to the beatitudes.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied… “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~Matthew 5:6, 11-12

We are blessed – living in the favor of God – when we are hungry for the right things.  Unfortunately, as history makes abundantly clear, those who were most hungry for righteousness (the prophets) were also most hated by men.

I began to study about some specific incidences of when prophets were hated and abused and I landed at 2 Kings 2:23-25.

 “He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.25 From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.” ~2 Kings 2:23-25

There is a lot to be said about this brief interaction which conveys many insights as to God’s character.

Earlier in this chapter, we find that there was a problem with the water supply in Jericho where the prophet Elisha was.

19 Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” 20 He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord, I have healed this water; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” 22 So the water has been healed to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.” ~2 Kings 2:19-22

Interestingly, Jericho was the city where walls had been built and the people had isolated themselves – locked themselves in so they would not be ruled by God or by His people.  God used unorthodox methods to both bring down the walls and to prove the faith of His people.

So there’s a lesson for us.  It doesn’t matter how strong and tall your walls are, if they are made to resist God, they will soon be broken down.

Later, God cursed the man who rebuilt Jericho and killed his children.  Now, years later, we find Jericho still having problems.  The water supply was tainted and unusable.  The prophet Elisha was asked to help and the Lord healed the water through him.  That brings us to the incident at hand.

Apparently, it was commonplace in this area to mock and scoff at the prophets.  These people hated reproof and correction – so much so that they taught their children to upbraid them.  So common this practice had become of hating and mocking the prophets that even the children had no fear or respect for them.

If it had been the first time, the punishment likely would not have been so severe.  But it was doubtless commonplace to tear down the character of God’s prophets because they so hated correction.

Though the boys were small, they were not afraid or ashamed before God’s prophet.  Matthew Henry says this:

“Elisha heard their taunts, a good while, with patience; but at length the fire of holy zeal for God was kindled in his breast by the continued provocation, and he turned and looked upon them, to try if a grave and severe look would put them out of countenance and oblige them to retire, to see if he could discern in their faces any marks of ingenuousness; but they were not ashamed, neither could they blush; and therefore he cursed them in the name of the Lord, both imprecated and denounced the following judgment, not in personal revenge for the indignity done to himself, but as the mouth of divine justice to punish the dishonor done to God…We may think it would have been better to have called for two rods for the correction of these children than two bears for the destruction of them.  But Elisha knew, by the Spirit, the bad character of these children.  He knew what a generation of vipers those were, and what mischievous enemies they would be to God’s prophets if they should live to be men, who began so early to be abusive to them.  He intended hereby to punish the parents and to make them afraid of God’s judgments.” 

So then, 42 children died for their unruly disobedience and unwillingness to respect and love the prophet and his godly correction.  It was a judgment and a punishment for the parents who allowed such brazen disrespect and abuse to be heaped upon the one chosen to be God’s voice to them.

So my question for myself and for everyone else today is are you hungry for righteousness?  For truth?  For justice?  How hungry?  If you are, expect to be treated poorly – misrepresented, mocked, made fun of, rejected, and even hated.  God says it is all a blessing, though.

On the other hand, if you are the one mocking and hating a person of God for the truth they tell you, be warned.  God is sending that person for your good, because he loves you so much.  His patience will run out eventually and, as the scripture says, at that time there is no remedy.

15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy. ~2 Chronicles 36:15-16



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The three “R’s” used to be readin’, ‘wrightin, and ‘rithmetic, right?  In home school, at least at my house, we have a different set of “R’s.” They are respect, reasoning, righteousness, and responsibility.  If I succeed at teaching them those things, I have zero doubt that my kids will succeed in whatever it is they choose to do in life.  Even if their paths and choices lead to failure, they will succeed in character, integrity, and wisdom if just these four things are instilled in them.

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan!’ For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” ~Matthew 4:10

“What?!  Why would he say that?!” exclaims my indignant nine year-old.


“Why would Jesus tell the devil to worship God?!  He will never do it!!”

“Just because we know someone is not going to listen does not mean God does not want us to tell them the truth.  Truth has two purposes.  One is grace for those who will listen and change by it.  The other is condemnation for those who will refuse it.

In other words, Jesus’ faithfulness in telling the truth of the scriptures to those who do not listen is actually what he will point to when he judges them.  It is not just sin that will condemn people, it will be also the saving grace God gave that was refused.

 The only sin listed in the Bible as unforgivable is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  What that means is that when God shows up to teach us and offers His truth to us by grace and we disbelieve, dismiss, and ignore it, we cannot be forgiven because we have pulled the rug out from under the means by which he saves.  If we refuse the Spirit of God when it speaks plain truth to us, we stiff arm God’s grace and we remain in stubborn, willful darkness.

We must learn to love the truth, girls.  No matter how uncomfortable, difficult, or painful it may be for us to accept, we must always embrace truth.  Never refuse or put off the truth of God when you learn it.  The Bible says, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.  Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now its the day of salvation.” ~2 Corinthians 6:1-2

There is a particular urgency to the truth.  Today is the day.  Don’t put it off.  Don’t wait one more second.  Take the truth to heart, now!  Today!  Do what is right, right away!  That is how we are to react when met with the truth.  Jesus is the Truth and he is the Way.  If we are following him, we must obey the truth, and obey it quickly.

The next day Bible class resumes.  We read Revelation chapter 16.

“Then I heard the angel of the waters say to God: ‘Holy One, you are the One who is and who was.  You are right to decide to punish these evil people.  They have spilled the blood of your holy people and your prophets.  Now you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’  And I heard the altar say: ‘Yes, Lord God All-Powerful, the way you punish evil people is right and fair.'” ~Revelation 16:5-7

This time my seven year-old protests.

“Doesn’t God say ‘Don’t do bad things back to people when they do bad to you?!’ Why is he doing bad to the bad people?  He is disobeying himself!!!”

“God tells us not to take revenge.  The reason we are not allowed to take revenge is because he is going to.  He tells us not to repay evil with evil because if we do, we will be judged, too.  God has to punish evil and he will punish evil because he is just and fair.  He punished Jesus for our sins but those who do not love and obey Jesus will get their own punishment.”

“Education was, in fact, so important to the Puritans that it was required.  By 1642, parents were required to teach their young children to read so they could know the Scriptures…The purpose of teaching was to learn the Word of God and defeat Satan, who was the deluder.  So the law to teach was called the ‘Old Deluder Satan Act.'” ~Linda Lacour Hobar, Mystery of History, Vol. III

My lessons for the week are very clear.

1. Tell the truth even when your hearers refuse to listen.

2.Trust God to judge evil.

3.Remember that it is parents who are responsible for their children’s education.

4. The ultimate goal of educating children is knowing and understanding the Scriptures.


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What’s all the hullabaloo over stubborn wedding cake bakers these days?  More Christians being rude, intolerant, and ridiculous?  Willing to lose their life’s work over their pride?  Really?  I can’t say for sure guys, but I’m bettin’ this ballgame is laced with lousy umpires.  Just who is calling the shots and why should we listen to a bunch of bullified big mouths?

We shouldn’t.  Before I share exactly why that is, take some time, sit down, take a deep breath, put your thinking cap on, and prepare to evaluate the truth about what is really happening here.  You ready?  Here goes…

Discrimination is not always a bad word, ladies and gentlemen.  Gasp.  I know.  It comes as a shock after so much falseness and indoctrination from the left in our generation.  But it just so happens that aside from it’s poor reputation regarding racism, prejudices, and partiality, discrimination can also be rightly described as “the ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.”

Discernment.  “The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgement.”  Good judgement.  Now, before the first wave of freedom filchers jumps me, steals my journal, and cries “You can’t judge me!” let me just be crystal clear.

Every single one of us – regardless of race or religion – exercises judgement every single day.  If we are living life, we are making judgments.  Is this food healthful?  How late is too late?  To speed or not to speed?  Should I speak or stay silent?  Is my coworker an alcoholic?  Does my teacher understand the information she is sharing with me?   On and on it goes.

We all make judgments, mostly for our own well being.  That does not make us intolerant, hateful, or narrow-minded.  It makes us human beings.  We all make judgments all the time because we must in order to survive in this world.  Therefore, when a man, woman, group, or government begins to cry “Discrimination!” we must assess the context before we are qualified to make a judgment about whether the act of discrimination was an act of dirty dereliction and prejudice or one of discernment and decency.

Why?  Because being indiscriminate – not selective, lacking in judgment, and careless about distinctions – presupposes a certain standard of behavior.  It must.  Yes, those standards are different for each of us depending our our values and beliefs, however, all of us have standards of behavior which we accept and reject.  Our standards allow us to filter our actions, reactions, or lack thereof.  Let me explain…

If a man goes into a store, steals something, and gets caught, the owner of that store is likely going to give that man different treatment after he knows that man is a thief.  Perhaps he won’t be allowed to shop in the store anymore.  Maybe he will have to check his bags before coming in.  Whatever the after is, it is discriminatory.  Where the owner can be indiscriminate with his lifelong friends, he obviously cannot afford to do so with the general public.  Discrimination based upon good judgment, discernment, and insight about just who it is that business owner is dealing with is, get this, wise.

What about a man who goes to buy a gun?  Let’s say he tells the owner of the armory that he intends to use this shiny new weapon to kill his wife and children later on today.  Should that owner “discriminate” against this particular consumer?  Of course!  He must discriminate against this man based upon the man’s willful, blatant admission of future eminent wrongdoing that violates both personal convictions of right and wrong and our country’s civil laws.

From a Christian standpoint, homosexuality is wrong.  I know, it’s shocking.  I’m not making up this stuff, people, God did.  You got a problem, talk to him.  Homosexuality is what Our God calls a sin.  Specifically, the sin of perversion.  Therefore, to serve a man or woman who discloses his intent to use our services to celebrate and consummate that act violates both our conscience as well as Our God’s moral laws.  To serve that individual, for us, is to become an accomplice to the act and actually participate in the sin by our apparent approval.  Doing so grieves our conscience just the same as our own sinful behavior does.  Let me just add that I would have the same conviction if I were a ticket seller at the movie theater.  Enabling people to entertain sin as amusement or recreation is to participate.  We need discernment, church.

I began to think deeply on these things after seeing the following comic:


At first glance this may seem witty and correct, but after a closer look and honest consideration, one must recognize the inaccuracy and arrogance of it.  It is said that the only difference between a believer and an unbeliever is that the former loves God and hates his sin and the latter loves his sin and hates God.

The whole of the Christian life is about balance.  Every single one of us, regardless of our religious affiliation or lack thereof, sin every single day.  Clearly, there is a stark contrast between an individual who is striving against his own wrong desires and actions toward the end of a more righteous life and an individual who is blatantly living in a lifestyle characterized by his wrongness and immorality with no intention to change – even celebrating it and expecting that everyone around him do the same lest he throw a fit and insist they all agree or else be name called, blacklisted, and put completely out of business.

That said, logically, if a person goes into a place of business and chooses to eat something unhealthy, that is not necessarily the mark of a gluttonous person.  The mark of a gluttonous person is one who overindulges consistently and fails to avoid anything which he enjoys.  As a clerk, that determination cannot be made based upon a singular interaction unless the individual sits and indulges until he or she becomes ill or perhaps passes out from drunkenness.  In bars, bartenders are not to serve those in such a condition.  Hence, the basic principle at hand: discrimination based upon behavior.  People may be overweight for a myriad of reasons.  To assume it is gluttony is quite arrogant in my opinion.

Furthermore, if I own a business and I am a Christian and someone comes in cursing at me or others in my establishment, if he seems angry and unstable, I would not entertain his business.  In fact, my husband has dealt with this situation at his business and asked men to leave.

If a man or woman comes in sexually harassing me or someone else in my business or is dressed inappropriately, as a business owner with concern for my other customers, the protection of my family, and my own well-being, I absolutely would deal with that individual accordingly and likely ask them to leave.

If he says he is going to use my services, my help, or my business to accomplish ungodly actions, I have a duty to decline.  It has less to do with the consumer than it does my own soul.  I am accountable to a holy God.  I am responsible to do no harm.

And how does a clerk determine whether a person they just met is greedy or divorced or lying anyway?  He cannot.  If he were any of those things or had any other issue, because Christians see people as souls and not merely income providers, if I had any opportunity at all, I would try to begin to know him, understand where he was spiritually, and make a determination as to whether he was seeking help with his problems or simply justifying every wrong action in his life.  The difference here, and the reason why this comic is not a fair comparison is because most people do not go parading their sin around – and rightly so!  We should be ashamed, not proud!  But certain ones do.  God help us!

If another person makes his personal choices blatantly known and those choices grieve my conscience, if they are patronizing me I have an obligation to correct them, and, if they do not listen, shake the dust from my feet and send them on.  I expect them to do the same for me.  I mean, I wouldn’t go to a place where women are required to wear burkas in my bikini and expect not to be exposed for my ignorance and indecency.  My family and my beliefs are more important than a few dollars out of the hands of those who do not value decency or have respect for us or for Our God.

Do not be duped by those who use intimidation and the word discrimination to bully and grossly discriminate against Christians.  We have not only the freedom, but also the duty to decline being an accomplice to dirty deeds.  Those who are truly intolerant prove themselves with force tactics, fear mongering, and intimidating manipulation.  Use your God-given discernment and refuse them.

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Jonah was a prophet.  That is, Jonah was a spokesman for God to other people.  Not just anyone got this job.  Prophets were people of great faith, holiness, and good deeds.  So, when God chose to speak to Jonah about calling down his righteous judgement, you’d think his words were in good hands.  But let’s explore what Jonah does with God’s instructions.  Welcome to the book of Jonah.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish,away from the presence of the Lord. ~Jonah 1:1-3 (more…)

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