2 Chronicles 19 … Consider His Words of Judgment

He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD who is with you when you render judgment, (19:6).

Judgment. Such a contentious concept. Judgment tends to raise all manners of negative connotations. But then, that is what happens when mere mortals take judgment into their own hands.

He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict,” (19:6 NIV).

But the truth is, our condition is critical; sin has blurred our power of perception. We all are in desperate need of judgment, His Judgment to discern what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord.

After King Jehoshaphat is rebuked for his own lack of judgment in coming to the aid of wicked King Ahab, he is then commended; because even in his failings, he continued to set his heart to seek God.

Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God,” (19:2-3).

And out of a heart determined, a heart in pursuit of God, Jehoshaphat appoints judges to handle the disputes that so often, and so sadly, occur as a part of community living.

And it is an appointment not to be entered into lightly. No human judge will ever be without their own need of judgment. However, every quality essential to performing their judicial duties must emanate from Him; and every judge must consider His Words of Judgment, so as to emulate His nature and character.

He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment,” (19:6).

Then he said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the matter of judgment,” (19:6 HCSB).

2 Chronicles 19:6 is translated in a variety of ways, but each have to do with considering the matter of judgment to render, decide or give a verdict.

“…the LORD, who is with you when you render judgment/ in the matter of judgment,”

1697. דָּבָר dāḇār: A masculine noun meaning word, speech, matter. This frequent word has a wide range of meanings associated with it. It signified spoken words or speecha command or royal decreeadvice…  a legal cause… Most important was the use of this word to convey divine communication. Often the word of the Lord signified the revelation given to prophets… Similarly, the Ten Commandments were literally called the ten words of the Lord…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance [emphasis added].

This word in Hebrew, meaning word, is sometimes translated matter or render (as in speaking a judgment), and signifies spoken words, speech and commands; the same Hebrew word was used to name His Ten Commandments.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments, (Exodus 34:27-28).

A few other instances when this Hebrew word is used include when the Word of the Lord:
came
to Abraham (Genesis 15:1);
commanded Joshua (Joshua 8:8, 27);
revealed to Samuel (1 Samuel 3:7);
rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 15:10);
sent Nathan to confront and rebuke David in his sin (2 Samuel 12:9)…

Jehoshaphat is in essence, exhorting his appointed judges to consider and rely on His Words for their own words to impart judgment.

 Consider His Words of Judgment

  • His Words of Judgment seek the lost to bring them back.
    • So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers, (19:4).
      • For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out,” (Ezekiel 34:11).
  • His Words of Judgment are righteously impartial.
    • He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe,” (19:6-7).
      • “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe,” (Deuteronomy 10:17).
  • His Words of Judgment are entirely faithful.
    • Then he charged them saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly, (19:9).
      • And He will judge the world in righteousness;
        He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity
        , (Psalm 9:8).
  •  His Words of Judgment are endlessly merciful to warn of His wrath.
    • Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the Lord, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty, (19:10).
      • “…these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the Lord, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm,” (Jeremiah 25:3-7).
  •  His Words of Judgment are resolutely upright.
    • “…Act resolutely, and the Lord be with the upright,” (19:11).
      • For the word of the Lord is upright,
        And all His work is done in faithfulness.
        He loves righteousness and justice;
        The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord,
        (Psalm 33:4-5).
  • His Words of Judgment are perfectly and powerfully expressed in Jesus Christ, His Son.
    • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being, (John 1:1-3).
      • God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power, (Hebrews 1:1-3).

How do we respond to His Words of Judgment?

In considering our response, we must begin with His ultimate Judgment.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27).

The Bible is clear. We will all face Judgment. The Bible is also clear that God cannot dwell in the presence of sin.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You,
(Psalm 5:4).

And all of us have sinned against Holy God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).

And the punishment for sin is eternal separation from Him.

For the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23).

But in His endless mercy, He has provided the means to atone for our sin without violating His perfect Holiness or Justice. Jesus Christ would come in our place to pay for and cancel our debt.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14).

He faithfully comes after us to seek as and bring us back to Himself; and we must come to His Words of Judgment that we would not perish.

“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish,” (Matthew 18:12-14).

And when we place our faith in Him, we are brought into His fold; and now we find ourselves in community with other sheep. And He calls us to live in unity, so that other sheep still in need of His rescue may also come to know Him.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me, (John 17:22-2).

And in order to live as His community we are desperate for His Words of Judgment.

  • Let us submit to His Words of Judgment as we are brought back, that we would live in, by, and to His righteousness.
    • and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls, (1 Peter 2:24).
  • Let us obey His Words of Judgment to live in His righteous impartiality.
    • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus, (Galatians 3:28).
    • There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? (James 4:12).
  • Let us depend on His Words of Judgment, through His Holy Spirit, that we may live entirely faithful.
    • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law, (Galatians 5:22-23).
    • …work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:12-13).
  • Let us observe His Words of Judgment to mercifully warn others of His wrath.
    • “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me,” (John 12:48-50).
    • “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).
  • Let us hold fast to His Words of Judgment to live in resolute uprightness.
    • Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life… (Philippians 2:14-16).
  • Let us embrace His Love given in His Words of Judgment, perfectly and powerfully expressed in Jesus Christ, His Son.
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).

As we grow in His Words of Judgment, He will faithfully grow us to become His community united in love, for Him and one another.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity, (Colossians 3:12-14).

And as we live by His Words of Judgment, we will be blessed by Him, our Righteous Judge, here on earth and for all eternity.

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing, (2 Timothy 4:8).

 Let’s Grow Together!

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