I have been doing a study on judgment in the Bible: what it is, who can do it, and how we should respond to it. It’s really been quite interesting! In the Old Testament I’ve been studying what the word meant exactly, in each place where it is used. In the Hebrew language–there are actually a few different words for “judge” and “judgment” in Hebrew! There’s the word that means “to execute, to rule, by implication to judge as empire, minister judgment,” which seems to refer to the punishment that is determined after a criminal has been rightly identified, such as when a judge in a courtroom determines the criminal’s punishment. Another word for judgment means “to pronounce sentence, vindicate or punish, govern, condemn, execute.” Again, this is about punishment, and it can also be about reward. A third word for judgment means “law, verdict.”
These types of judgment in the Old Testament were administered by either God (as in the case of the ten plagues ofEgypt) or by judges that were appointed to make decisions for the people. What I find especially interesting is that the word “judgment” was never used in the Old Testament to talk about criticizing.
According to God’s Word, judgment referred to a punishment or a reward, not criticizing others. In our society today, we often use this word in a sentence like this, “Don’t judge me!” I am beginning to realize that this phrase reveals the current heart of our society. It’s the popular belief that there is no moral law, there is no right or wrong, that everyone should be allowed to do what they think is right, because there is no ultimate law.
In the Bible, God has set specific laws. There is right and wrong. When Judgment Day comes and God is sitting on His throne in front of us, He is not going to be criticizing us in His thoughts or His words. Psalm 9:7 says, “He has established His throne for judgment.” He is going to judge what we have done–He is going to punish us or reward us. We will be judged depending on whether our actions were right or wrong according to His law. In other words, if we have lived according to His standards, we will receive His rewards. Those who have lived in disobedience to what the Bible says will receive punishment.
Matthew12:36 says, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” And Ecclesiastes 12:4 explains “God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Every act will receive judgment.
But my goal in today’s post is not to simply explain judgment according to the Old Testament.
Yesterday, during my time with the Lord, He led me on a passionate prayer journey concerning the hot topic of abortion. Did you know that from 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S? 50 million!? Let yourself think for a moment about the lives that are not here. What are we missing without them? We will never know. Some of us may be missing out on siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins! While I was in prayer, the Lord put something on my mind that I spoke aloud immediately:
“The womb is sacred. The womb is holy.”
Can you think of a more holy place? It’s where life itself begins! Even Jesus was grown inside of a woman’s womb! The sacredness of the womb is defiled by abortions. Literally, it is defiled by death. Can you imagine murder taking place in a sanctuary? Or in a cathedral? It is almost unthinkable. Yet, our country and many others around the world have taken to inserting death where only life should be.
Then the Lord spoke again:
“The Lord gives. And the Lord takes away.” (See Job 1:21).
In that instant I realized this. It is God’s job to judge according to His word. True. But it is not our job to judge how an unborn and innocent child should be judged (punished or rewarded) for simply being conceived! Whenever this argument comes up in public arenas, women say that it is their choice to have an abortion and that no one has the right to “judge them.” But criticism is not judgment. Judgment has to do with punishment & rewards. When a woman has an abortion, she has taken on the role of God. She has become the judge that determined that the child needs to be punished for living! We need to begin valuing life and realizing the true meaning of judgment.
Today, when you spent time with the Lord, pray for life! Pray against death! Pray for the women considering abortions! Pray that they will open their hearts to love the child or give the child up for adoption. May the will of God be done and the judgment truly be left to Him and Him alone!
PS. What are your thoughts? What else do we “judge” that is actually a commandment of God? Do you tell people, “Don’t judge me!” Is this because you are making unrighteous choices? Let’s talk!