(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
Rarely a day goes by when I don’t hear someone complain about being judged. It’s probably true for you as well. I can always count on seeing a rant or two on Facebook or Twitter about it; whether it be for their looks, the color of their skin, the clothes they wear, how many tattoos they have, age, accent, if they wear glasses, weight, hair or lack thereof, political affiliation and especially for their spiritual beliefs. All of these things are something most of us have drawn judgment for and most likely have looked at others and drawn a personal conclusion about them. It could be a group of people or just one.
In these two books of Psalms judgment and reckoning is the prominent theme. The psalmist is praising the Lord for victory in battle and the Lord tells the Land of Judah that HE will judge and will do so in His own time. He also tells us that His wrath will be seen and that those who are Godless will be judged and condemned, that’s an interesting word, condemned (we’ll get back to that). Several times in this passage the Lord stops and says, “SELAH”. From my research there really is no true translated definition and the best that I could come up with is to “Pause and think”…Meditate. One commentary I read even said to, “Pause and Pray”. The Lord is giving us His thoughts here…He speaks them and tells us to “Stop! Listen to what I’m saying. This is who I am and what I am going to do…Prepare yourselves. Think about it! Those who love me will live, those who don’t will surely die…Judgment is mine”.
I read this passage and judgment came to mind and the context most people use it in today. People are certainly afraid to be called different or to be told what they’re doing is wrong. No one likes it…So much so that our society has become a bruised slug with no backbone. We all make judgments from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed. That is human nature. You cannot live without judgment. We judge what’s right, wrong and moral. Instead of honest judgment we (all of humanity but especially believers) mix condemnation in the cocktail – HEAVY on the condemnation. Of course the world looks at things a little differently than believers do, but God does give us a moral compass and a Word that teaches us right from wrong with the ability to judge that. It’s what holds people accountable. But nowhere in the word does He give us reign to condemn. That, in the end, is His job.
First, I want to encourage you to seek out what the Bible says about judgment. It seems to have become taboo to even talk about judgment for fear of offending someone. So, what does Jesus say about it in Matthew?
Secondly, when you feel the urge to condemn someone for their differences, wrongs, lifestyles…SELAH! Pause, think about it, and pray. Jesus wasn’t sent here to condemn but to save. If Jesus wasn’t sent here to condemn, we most certainly aren’t given that authority.
John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
Lastly, if you ever face condemnation, and most of us certainly will at some point in the future, and it may even be tomorrow…SELAH! Pause, think about it, and pray.