An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, January 31, 2011


(Proverbs 31:9 KJV)  Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Most people today can quote Matthew 7:1.

(Matthew 7:1 KJV)  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
It is so easy to proof-text and miss the whole point.  It is much harder to plug in our brain, keep our emotions under control and let the Holy Spirit lead us into a balanced understanding.  Here we have what seems to be the exact opposite of what Jesus said.  Here it seems we have a command to “judge” (8199).

Here is where we have to understand the entire message.  We are called on to “judge” (8199), but to do so “righteously” (6664).  Jesus was talking about the tendency we have to be self centered and harsh.  He warned against the use of double standards which is so common in our relationships.  Aren’t we the culture that came up with the statement, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  So we are not to judge sinfully or carnally but we are to judge righteously.

Judging was a part of government.  Kings would hold court and one of the functions of that court was for people to approach the sovereign and demand justice.  You may be familiar with the apostle Paul appealing to Caesar (Acts 25:11).  As a citizen of Rome he had the right to demand face to face justice with the emperor.  In theory.  We all have situations where we are in charge and people are coming to us for decisions.  We are called on to be judges. 

We have situations where it is not acceptable to say, “Who am I to judge?”  You are the one on the hot seat.  If you avoid your responsibility, then the authority may be passed on to someone who is not righteous.  It may go to someone who has not been touched by the blood and will not listen to the Holy Spirit.

So?  Have it both ways.  Have your cake and eat it, too.  When it is a matter of pride and tooting your own horn, judge not.  When you are called to make an evaluation that has to do with right and wrong, judge.  You may be the best qualified.


Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent post. I've noticed that we hear Matthew 7:1 mostly when folks are trying to justify their own sinfulness.

Pumice said...

Thank you. I am so glad to know I am not the only one that sees that.

Grace and peace