I remember years ago when the Peoples Court came to television. It has some entertainment value as different case came before Judge Wapner for their cases to be decided in a “reality show format” with a “fake courtroom”. He would hear their cases and then after a commercial break come back and render a decision. It’s very different from the real court cases. The cases were mostly small claims and the process was more like arbitration than an actual hearing before an official court judge. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to know judges and how they mostly role. They use president and case law to help guide many of their decisions. As I’ve grown older and taken on more leadership responsibility over the years, good judgement requires good data and insight. I’ve made decisions that were based on bad information even though it was all the information I had at the time. I think it important for someone making a judgement to not enter that decision with their minds made up. I think it’s important to weigh all the data and try to hear with an open mind what all the angles are.
Asaph penned a Psalm describing the Lord as Judge. I think it has been part of my journey to understand God as both Lawgiver and Judge. In our world, Judges interpret and apply the law but they don’t write the law. God does both. He also is incredibly forgiving. I have deserved punishment to the full extent of His law many times but instead I am released and my record erased or expunged. Check this out…
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 ‘Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.’
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for he is a God of justice.
23 those who sacrifice thank-offerings honor me,
and to the blameless I will show my salvation.’ (Psalm 50:1-2, 4-6, 23 NIV)
The Law of God brings Judgement before the Salvation of God that came through His Son Jesus. When Jesus came, He introduced the Grace of God to the world. I still remember when I was lost. I’m trying to never become so smug as a Christ follower that I forget what it was like to be lost. I don’t deserve the forgiveness that I’ve been given, but I am so grateful. I’m thankful that when I stand before the Judgment of God, my attorney is His Son. The sacrifice of Jesus trumps my condemnation every time. I’m profoundly thankful for this gift that comes through the Son of God. I deserve punishment but instead I get a party of forgiveness. It’s crazy in so many ways, but I’m speechless to explain how it has changed my life and my perspective about everything!