Judging in the Fear of the Lord

“[Jehoshaphat the king of Judah] appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, ‘Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.'”
(2 Chronicles 19:5-7)

There comes a time when we are called to judge a situation, a person, or a group of people. There is no way around it, even by using words other than “judge” such as “prefer” or “like” or “agree/disagree”.  The question that arises when we ultimately face, even subconsciously, is “what is the standard by which I judge?”.

King Jehosaphat recognized the tendency for us fallen and sinful human beings to judge by what might benefit us, to judge according to our personal likes/dislikes, to judge based upon our fallen definitions of justice, and/or our desire to root for the oppressed/successful/famous/underdog.  The king wisely warned the judges about this nature and then gave them the best standard – the standard of the Holy and completely Righteous God.  Not only that, but to judge in the fear of the Lord – realizing that we too are under the eye of the Lord.

In our lives, are we judging righteously according to the Lord’s standard of justice and righteousness as displayed in the Bible or by whatever we (or culture) says is righteous…even if it contradicts the Bible?


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