God’s Judgement is Perfect
Bradon: Coming up, we learn that God’s Judgement is perfect!
Jon: God’s judgement is way better than mine. One time I ate hotdogs that had a bit of green tinge to them. Then I felt so sick and had to go to the bathroom, and then.
Bradon: You probably shouldn’t finish that story if we want people to tune in!
About the Story
Bradon: Have you ever noticed that people’s judgements are often misguided and incorrect?
Jon: Have I ever told you my hotdog story? It was a wrong decision, a bad judgement on my part!
Bradon: Yeah, we still don’t want to hear the end of that story, but I am glad you survived. Often we don’t have all the information, or our emotions will make it difficult to assess things accurately.
Jon: When we say that God’s judgement is perfect, we mean a couple of things. First of all, it is complete, and second, it is accurate both to the facts and God’s heart and desire.
Bradon: This is where both justice and grace live together perfectly.
Jon: I think that needs a bit of explanation.
Bradon: So if someone did something criminal and a judge made a just ruling. The judge’s decision could be described as fair, that it matched or fit the crime, that it was unbiased – they showed no favouritism. A just decision is what everyone wants from a Judge. People want the criminal to learn their lesson. Grace is something good we don’t deserve.
Jon: So the judge might say to the criminal. I am fining you $10,000 for your crime. Then if he wants to show grace, he might go and personally pay the criminal’s fine. In that scenario, there is both justice and grace!
Bradon: That is a good example, but I think it falls short in one way, and we will see why in our story today!
Jon: You can find today’s story in Judges chapters 4 and 5.
Bradon: After God established Israel as a nation, their leaders were called judges. In those days, Israel had no kings.
Jon: There Judges were people who listened to God and then led the people. They were different than the judges we have today though there are some similarities.
Bradon: Israel developed a pattern in their relationship with God early on as a nation. They would start faithful to God and in a good relationship with him.
Jon: But, then they would behave poorly. Often they would begin to worship other gods and not be faithful to the true God.
Bradon: Then they would find themselves apart from God, and some sort of disastrous situation would come upon them as a result of their choices.
Jon: Next, the people would cry out to God to rescue them and repent from their wicked ways.
Bradon: God would call a leader – a judge – to save them. With God’s power, the judge would rescue Israel, and Israel would live harmoniously with God for an extended period.
Jon: Predictably, the Israelites would fall away from God, and the pattern would repeat itself.
Bradon: In today’s story, we see that God’s Judgement is perfect. It is both fair and filled with grace.
Jon: Israel started out doing evil in the sight of God, and so he handed the Israelites over to King Jabin of the Canaanites. After 20 years of doing things their way, God delivers them through the leadership of Deborah, Barak and the hand of Jael.
Bradon: God’s Judgement is perfect. It is just and is filled with grace. Israel received some very difficult years as a result of not following God. Sisera was the one oppressing Israel but then was killed. Israel cried out for help. Even though they didn’t deserve it, God was gracious and saved them. He even gave King Jabin extra time to stop his oppression of the Israelites before destroying him too. God’s patience is a form of grace for us and others.
Jon: This is a messy story. There is a lot of death and destruction. It almost seems that God is for Israel and against the Canaanites, but I don’t think that is true.
Bradon: I would agree. Imagine if King Jabin and the leader of his army, Sisera, honoured God? I think those two men would have more gently helped Israel back into a right relationship with God rather than oppressing the Israelites.
Jon: If everyone had been honouring God, both nations would have prospered and gained far more as a result. Instead, God used their ill intentions to humble and discipline each nation, and it was awful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the Canaanites ever repent; only the Israelites do.
Bradon: We certainly do not have God’s perspective. He sees things differently, and because he is good, we can be sure that his judgements will be perfect. They are both just and gracious.