On Judging

June 15

"Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying,
‘Hear the cases between your brethren,
and judge righteously between a man and his brother
or the stranger who is with him.
You shall not show partiality in judgment;
you shall hear the small as well as the great;
you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence...'"
Deuteronomy 1:16-17

Think about it. Do we judge righteously without partiality? Are we influenced by what we know about the person? If the person is a lowly sinner that we have been acquainted with, how does that influence the way we look at him/her? When the person is famous, doesn't that affect how we look at him? When it's someone in the news, an actor or actress, a member of the political party other than the one we ascribe to, doesn't that affect our judgment? What if it's someone we love? Does that make us partial to him/her? We see by the Word of God here, that it's very difficult to pass righteous judgment because of the sentiments we hold toward the person involved.

Some will say we are not to judge, but that must be qualified. No, we are not to judge a person because we all have skewed opinions and sentiments toward people. But we are commanded to test issues, and that necessitates judging.

“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
1Thess. 5:21-22

We are commanded to correct and to rebuke.

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage...
2 Timothy 4:2

John the Baptist rebuked Herod the king on an issue of immorality. He called the Pharisees and Sadducees "a brood of vipers."Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, intolerant, with no respect for leaders, a hater, and most of all un-Christian. Obviously the command not to judge must be qualified.

In cases of discerning whether something is good or evil, and in cases of seeing an obvious evil that needs to be addressed, we are COMMANDED to judge. We can always know when something is good or evil, because the Word of God determines that. When we see something that needs correcting or rebuke we do so, but then we leave the people involved for the Lord to deal with.  We don't determine the outcome, we don't pronounce a curse or a punishment on the person, we judge the issue and leave the person to God.

When the Lord comes, he will bring righteous judgment. Scripture tells us he will rule with a rod of iron. He will not be partial, he will not be influenced in any way, he will not consider the status of any person. He will not be bribed or blackmailed. He will not suggest a plea bargain. He will not grant early release for good behavior. His judgment will be totally righteous, impartial, and true.

"He shall judge between many peoples,
and rebuke strong nations afar off;"
Micah 4:3

And this is the way he judges YOU. There will be no self-justification, no blaming someone else for your sin, no partiality because you're "mostly a good person;" his judgment is totally impartial and righteous.

So we see that when people chant, "don't judge," they reveal that they don't know the Word of God. "Correct and rebuke," he said. That's a form of judging that we're not only allowed to do, but commanded to do.