27th April 2015

Time to Judge 

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”
Deuteronomy 16:18 (NKJV) 

Have you noticed that there are so many programmes on TV that have a panel of judges? There’s the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent and no doubt a whole host more.

Those people who have been given the esteemed position of sitting in judgment over the various acts pronounce on the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Over the years some of the judges have developed a reputation for ‘telling it how it is’.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen contestants who can’t sing a song that even the local collection of cats would be able to recognise and yet they are totally convinced that they’ve got what it takes. Apparently, ‘This is what they were born to do’; ‘This is their whole life’. All their friends and family have told them how great they are yet it is patently obvious to everyone else that the only way you could ever listen to them is if you had ear plugs in. One of the things that’s lacking in these individuals is some form of self-evaluation; some form of self-judgment.

It’s interesting to note that in the original Hebrew the instruction to appoint ‘judges and officers’ in Deuteronomy 16 is singular rather than plural.  While there was a need for ‘just judgment’ throughout the land of Israel there was also a need for each individual to be a judge and officer over their own lives.

How might this apply to us today?  Each of us should take time for some self-evaluation or self-examination in order to assess how our relationship with God is developing and how our Christian lives are progressing. We will then be able to judge if any changes need to be made.We also need to place ‘officers’ at our gates; the gates of our eyes and ears to judge what should be let in and the gate of our mouths for what should be let out. This can help us change from looking at wrong images, listening to gossip and using bad language, to looking at and listening to wholesome things and using encouraging and uplifting language.

The Apostle Paul advocates a process of self-examination before the taking of the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11 and says ‘if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged’. (Verse 31)  This principle holds true, not just before we sit at the Lord’s Table, but for our entire Christian walk.

Why not take some time this week to evaluate how things are going and ask yourself: Is my lifestyle in obedience to Jesus Christ? Am I committed to following God’s Word? Am I maturing more towards the fullness of Christ? The time we spend judging ourselves is well worth the investment.

Father, help me make time for some contemplative reflection so I can reassess my progress and discern what guards there need to be on the gates of my life.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk