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‚ÄúBut the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.‚ÄĚ (Isaiah 5:16)
Beloved, Have you ever wondered what the Lord thinks of you? I realize that this sounds incredibly self-centered but may I challenge you to not pass over this question with hypocritical disdain. What God thinks of each and every one of us is of vital importance. First off, this question presupposes that God knows you. In Mathew 7:23 Jesus says, ‚ÄúI declare to them, ‚ÄėI never knew you; depart from me.‚ÄĚ Who does Jesus say this to? He says it to those who have outwardly and openly professed Him as Lord but have failed to back up their profession with actions that are in keeping with what they say. In short they talk the talk but don‚Äôt walk the walk. Secondly and closely related, if God does in fact know you is He pleased with what you do? This is where I want to be more personal. It is true that every child of God fails to live up to God‚Äôs standard but what are you doing when you fall short. Now before you too quickly think that you don‚Äôt sin, 1 John 1: 8 says, ‚ÄúIf we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.‚ÄĚ Certainly John was not referring to those who are so ignorant of sin that they would claim to have not sinned? No, John knew that we all tend to deny our sinful actions thinking we somehow have the right to do and say the things we do. On the other hand, if we continue to read the next verse (1 John 1: 9) we see that when a child of God sins, it is his responsibility to confess that sin, allow God to both forgive him and initiate the process of removing unrighteousness. Why does God do this? It is because He is holy, righteous and just. Isaiah says that God is exalted in justice. Simply put, God not only upholds justice, He is justice and when anything attempts to violate who He is, He must judge the violation in order to maintain His character. When we are ignorant of God‚Äôs instructions or worse yet willfully refuse to follow God‚Äôs commands, we are violating God‚Äôs character by violating His justice. Now I ask you, are you pleased when someone refuses to do what you have instructed? Are you pleased when someone misunderstands what you have said and does not follow through with what you intended them to? If this displeases you, what do you think it does to God? Think about that the next time you find yourself saying or doing something that is displeasing to the One who is justice.
Word for the weak
Justice, (4941) מִשְׁפָּט (miŇ°∙pāṭ): n.masc.; judgment, i.e., the act. of deciding a legal dispute or case; court, i.e., a place where a legal case is decided; lawsuit, i.e., a legal action taken in court; decision, sentence, i.e., an official proclamation in a legal verdict; justice, i.e., a state or condition of fairness in disputes; law, regulation, prescription, specification, i.e., a spoken or written command which is to be obeyed, often with penalties for non-compliance; plan, formally, prescription, i.e., a graphic or verbal description of how to build something; see also domain, share, i.e., what is a just amount of a whole; practice, i.e., a behavior which is more or less fixed and accepted as a normal practice Used this week in Isaiah 5: 16.