Psalm 19:11b – … And in keeping them there is great reward. (NKJV)
This series of lessons looks at the life most Christians want, many Christians talk about and some Christians experience brief glimpses of… but few attain on a daily, consistent, long-term basis. It is a life that is:
- Refreshed and re-energized, full of wisdom, joyful, enlightened, consistent and righteous, rewarding and fulfilled
So far we have learned that:
God’s law (His rule of action) converts (restores, refreshes) the soul because knowing and keeping His law leads to a fruitful, guiltless life of fellowship with God. (v. 7a)
God’s testimony (His declaration and evidence of facts), especially of Jesus Christ, imparts wisdom to the simple (foolish; anyone devoid of God’s truth and wisdom) (v. 7b)
- God’s precepts (instructions, directions) are right (by default) and are heart is rejoiced when we keep them. (v. 8a)
- God’s commandments are pure (by default correct; they are right and nothing other) and enlighten (bring understanding and meaning) to the eyes (the mind, the heart).(v. 8b)
- The fear of the Lord (health respect and awe; a synonym for His law and Word) is clean (pure, holy) and endures forever (does not change). (v. 9a)
It is our natural human tendency to be defensive when we’re told we are wrong. When other people tell us that we are wrong there is certainly room for evaluation of their opinion and at times even a defense on our part.
It is altogether entirely a different thing however when the Lord tells us we are wrong. Any defensiveness, excuses, or attempt to diminish the degree of our transgression only betrays the level of pride and foolishness that is in our hearts.
The word “judgment” gets a bad rap today. It seems that one of the most common phrases of our time is “the Bible says don’t judge”. (Without getting off on an entirely different subject let me say that what the Bible actually says is “don’t judge in a way that will bring judgment upon yourself” which is an entirely different thought altogether).
Psalm 19:9b – The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. (NKJV)
This devotional is about the Lord’s judgments, not man’s. You won’t hear many people declare “the Lord shouldn’t judge”. Even the unbelieving world realizes that part of “religion” involves a higher authority with a higher standard who judges our behavior based on that standard.
What are judgments?
- The formal declaration of an authoritative opinion
- It is an official proclamation given by one in power
- A divine decision
A judgment is not a casual opinion to be accepted or rejected by the hearer. The Lord’s judgments are true and binding regardless of whether we are aware of it, acknowledge it or agree with it. We are bound by the Lord’s judgments no matter what the circumstances or what reasons we may have to feel otherwise.
That sounds kind of harsh on the surface, and if we were talking about a man’s judgments it would indeed be harsh. But we’re not talking about man. We’re talking about the Lord.
The Lord’s judgments are true and righteous. In this respect they’re not to be feared as something that will harm us or that will lead to anything other than our ultimate good. As with all things pertaining to the Lord even the unpleasant (to us) is something to be desired not avoided.
The Lord’s judgments are true which means:
- steadfast, honest, just
- conforming to true reality
- fully realized
- fitted, formed, and fully functional
- logically necessary
- strict in the truest sense
- without variation
- balanced, level and square
The Lord’s judgments or righteous which means:
- acting in accord with divine or moral law
- absolutely right or justifiable
- arising from justice or morality
- genuine and good
- legitimate, proper and fitting
- wise and right
So you can see by these definitions that anything true and righteous (not just judgments), is something to be desired. As with everything in God’s Word, God’s judgments are revealed to us for our ultimate benefit and good. The Lord wants us to live the most blessed and fruitful life possible. There is only one way to do that and that is to allow the Lord to be the judge of our life.
You can’t live by the Lord’s judgments if you don’t know them.
How do you know them? They are revealed through His Word (the Bible) and you have to read it, meditate on it and practice it in order to know them. Knowledge of God’s judgments is learned through diligent, consistent, serious study of His Written Word and by asking God in prayer to illumine Truth in your heart.
Revelation 19:2a – For true and righteous are His judgments….” (NKJV)
God’s law is perfect; it restores and refreshes the soul. God’s testimony is sure and will make you wise. The Lord’s precepts are right and will give you a heart full of joy. God’s commandments are pure and will bring you light and understanding about life. The fear of the Lord directs us into righteousness and can be trust as holy and enduring. The Lord’s judgments are pure and righteous, sufficient to guide our life towards increasing holiness. Tomorrow we will look at how all of this leads to rewarding life!
Holy Lord, Help us to embrace Your judgments rather than fear them or be deny them. Help us to see that Your ways are pure and righteous even when they don’t feel good to us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: When you think of “judgment” have you been influence by the world’s mantra of “the Bible says don’t judge”? Has that distorted your understanding of God’s judgments? Do you fear or embrace God’s judgments? Has your definition of “God’s judgments” changed any since reading this?
Application: God is pure and righteous. His judgments are always perfect true and when we embrace them, and change our life accordingly, we will experience blessing and reward.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?