…“‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day,’” (39:16).
As I read the first two verses of this chapter, thoughts rushed my mind: Here it comes. He warned you. You shouldn’t be surprised, for His Judgments are exactly as He told you they would be.
Now when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; 2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached,” (39:1-2).
The Lord had certainly not hidden what was coming, but His people persisted in refusing to listen, to believe, to see Him as the One Who sovereignly controls the affairs of man.
Over a year and a half transpired between the beginning of the siege and the city walls being breached. And I wondered if during this onslaught, with the sound of the Babylonian army marching and bashing against the walls, if while their food and water supply was dwindling, did the false prophets persist in raising their voice against reality, in screaming out their deceptions that this disaster was not really going to happen, in speaking their lies so contrary to God’s Word?
“An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31).
“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace,” (Jeremiah 6:14).
But, “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds,” (Jeremiah 14:13-14).
“So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you; 15 for I have not sent them,” declares the Lord, “but they prophesy falsely in My name, in order that I may drive you out and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you,” (Jeremiah 27:14-15).
“Thus says the Lord, ‘This city will certainly be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it,’” (Jeremiah 38:3).
They had been warned and should not have been surprised, for His Judgments came exactly as He said they would. And because everything He does is always in perfect keeping with everything that He Is, His Judgments, as they were then, and as they will always be, are perfectly Judicious.
Having, showing, or done with good judgment or sense
Characterized by sound judgment
Exact in correspondence or adherence to something
Having knowledge or perceptions of a situation or fact
Every Judgment would inspire awe in His knowledge, His discernment, and His exact adherence to the facts in every case, demonstrating His perfect perception of every situation by His Judicious Judgments.
Consider His Judicious Judgments
Within this brief chapter of only eighteen verses, we see His Judgments that came in four different cases, His Judicious Judgments corresponding to each person’s or group’s situation in life, as Psalm 18 describes.
With the kind You show Yourself kind;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself astute, (Psalm 18:25-26).
His Judicious Judgment would blind and bound the one who persistently refused to open his eyes to His Truth that he might be set free.
He [the king of Babylon] then blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetters of bronze to bring him to Babylon, (39:7).
His Judicious Judgment would supply ample provision for those who had been deprived and dispossessed.
But some of the poorest people who had nothing, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at that time, (39:10).
His Judicious Judgment released His faithful prophet, who had been relentlessly ignored, rejected, mistreated and secluded for walking in obedience and the fear of the Lord, into the care and companionship of another trustworthy servant, to now be heard and obeyed.
“Take him and look after him, and do nothing harmful to him, but rather deal with him just as he tells you.”… 14 they even sent and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guardhouse and entrusted him to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him home. So he stayed among the people, (39:12, 14).
His Judicious Judgment intervened and delivered the one who had trusted his God, risking his own safety to intervene and deliver Jeremiah.
“Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day. 17 But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. 18 For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’” (39:16-18).
How do we respond to His Judicious Judgments?
His harsh Judgment was only passed on the sins of those who spurned His repeated appeals, refused to listen to His Word and rejected His Offer of Life through faith.
Because He is Holy and Just, He must Judge Judiciously, He must punish sin; but His heart is always desirous that the wicked would turn in faith to Him, that they would turn from their way of sin and turn to His way of justice and righteousness.
“But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:21-23).
And when we place our faith in Christ, His Judicious Judgment comes in His Grace, as our sins are placed on Christ.
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, (1 Peter 2:24).
His Grace is given that we would die to our sin and live in His righteousness. Oh, that we would never abuse or take advantage of His amazing Grace!
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2).
Let us seriously consider His Judicious Judgments towards us; for even as believers, we will all stand before Him to give an account of how we lived our lives and used the time He gave us here on earth.
So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God, (Romans 14:12).
Oh, that we would strive to please Him in all things; so, when that day comes and we stand before the Holy Judgment Seat of our Holy Savior and Master, Jesus Christ, we would hear His Judicious Judgment passed on us so as to hear Him declare, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad, (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master,’” (Matthew 25:23).