Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘judge’

Right in Their Own Eyes

King on his throne

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

Have you ever reflected on past decisions and said something like, “I did what I thought was best at the time.” There were times in the Old Testament in which the behavior of the people of Israel was summarized in this way, “each did what was right in his own eyes.” On the face of it, trying to do what is right is a noble thing, that is, unless one lives in a culture in which there is no clear standard on which to determine what is right and what is wrong. In the days of the Judges, the statement that everyone did what was right in his own eyes was preceded by “there was no king in Israel.” (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

Let it never be assumed that this nation lacked leadership. Israel was established and led by God through men and women who were assigned the task of counseling that great nation. The spiritual leadership of the people was dutifully provided by the Levite priests. The standard of right and wrong given to the people, the Ten Commandments with the Mosaic Law, was literally written in stone so they knew what was expected from them. The people had all of the elements of civilized governance, but since it was different than the surrounding countries, they petitioned to be ruled by a king. Samuel, a wise and Godly judge, was heartbroken by the demands of the people, but God assured him of what was really happening, “…they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (I Samuel 8:7)

I see this same mentality in people today. According to the American Bible Society, 85% of US households own an average of 4.3 Bibles. The issue of lawlessness is not for lack of information. We live in a land which has rejected God and many people want to do what is right in their own eyes. In conjunction with the DIY moral standards is the only rule written in stone, “Don’t judge me!” Regardless of how blatant the sin, those who have chosen to reject God’s standards refuse to even look into a mirror that shows them the error of their ways.

I am not advocating for Christians to run around pointing out the flaws in the lives of others. Christians need to get back to reading the Bible, draw closer to God in abject humility and clean up our own spiritual houses. The problem here is the same with the problems in Samuel’s day; God’s people rejected Him and in so doing, failed to make any positive impact on the world around them. We have to decide whether we will stand out from the crowd by living Godly lives or continue to reject God and blend in. It is OK to be different!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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The Judge

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

It is quite intimidating to think that the Creator of the Universe is both our Lawgiver and our Judge. God expects perfection from us all, even though He knows that we are incapable of living up to His standards. That is the ultimate problem of humanity. We stand guilty in front of the perfect Judge, with no way to redeem ourselves. Why would a loving God intentionally set humanity up for failure? That question is answered in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, where he explains that the Law was like a tutor intended to reveal humanity’s need for a Savior, Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:24)

Humanity’s response to this problem goes in one of three directions: atheists decide to deny the existence of God. This settles the problem in their minds for the time being, as long as the pesky Christians leave them alone. Unfortunately, denial of the truth does not change it at all, but rather leaves them in the position of trying to stamp out all evidence of God around them.

Another response is to try to redeem oneself through religious experience or good works. This is a popular belief these days; that our good works and bad actions are held in some cosmic balance and if we just have more good than bad, we will get to go to heaven. The big dilemma here is that by whose standards are the good and bad balanced? Most people compare themselves to those whom they judge to be really bad, thus creating a scale skewed in their favor.

In Romans 3:23, Paul states that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God’s expectations are not a slightly unbalanced scale on the side of good, but perfection. Fortunately, He made a way for us to find salvation even in our imperfection, as Paul goes on to show in the next verse: ”being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

The final response to the human problem of sin is to embrace Jesus the Savior that God himself sent to bear the penalty of our sin. Although the Lawgiver and the Judge, He is also the most loving redeemer who welcomes all who accept Him as their Savior. There is no better time than now to ask for God’s redeeming grace to bless your life!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother or four, pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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