Friday, September 19, 2008

Job 4.2: Judgment

The book of Job is rich in unspoken meaning. The book seems mostly emptiness otherwise. God picks a fight for a guy he’s proud of and takes everything he values from him. Then his three friends show up and spend most of the book arguing with him with the book itself providing little explicit commentary. Which makes little sense considering this is essentially the longest recorded discussion in scripture.

Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? 
7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? 
8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. 

  What is our experience as believers when we suffer among other believers? In my experience there are two reactions that are prominent and a third somewhere in between. For the most part I’d say because of a misunderstanding of admonishment, judgment, and God’s forgiveness, many will see someone suffering from an obvious cause (sexual sin, addiction, foolishness,…) and tell them that God will “pull you through,” while leaving completely unsaid the truth that puts their situation in context. “You are sinning; this is because of that.” On a national scale this is easy to see. Right now our economy is going down the tubes; California is facing the worst fires in thirty years; the midwest’s cash crop of corn has taken serious losses; we’ve substantially put out one fire in Iraq only to have Afghanistan flare up; we reel from one food scare to another; and yet people claiming to believe in God and his justice see America’s arrogance and mockery of God and don’t see what’s happening as judgment. 


“Oh natural disasters have always happened, we shouldn’t take this as God’s judgment otherwise people will think of God as the angry vengeful God of the ‘old testament’.” But do you know what scripture says?

Deu 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 
7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. 
11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 
12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 

Now there are some, even of messianic understanding, that have said this only applies to Israel and that it was a special promise to them in that specific context. But that is a doctrine that denies what Paul said in Romans and Ephesians that we are grafted in and become part of Israel; it denies what Moses said that there will be one Torah for natural born and sojourner; and it again denies God’s word when he said that his commandments are for our good.

  God’s commands are for all who love him.

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Yeshua is God, the same timeless God who said “I change not,” which means “my commandments” are every commandment God has given. It’s impossible to understand how we miss the most intuitive link that God shows us. Since Eden every command God has given has brought goodness into our lives, yet we think of his commands from the beginning as arbitrary and pointless. Well if you think of God’s older commands as pointless then of course Israel being blessed for keeping them is a special thing. It would be the equivalent of God saying “Go jump through some hoops and I will give you a treat.” Jumping is pointless and distasteful, even repugnant, to someone who recognizes that they are in the image of a God with dignity who bestows dignity on his creation.

  On the other hand, if we believe that God’s commandment are for our good (as he said). Then naturally if it was a blessing to Israel to obey the commands, then it will be a blessing for us to do the same. For people who say that the wall of partition has been broken down, we see m to be stuck on putting it back up. 

  Instead of God’s pets performing tricks for treats, we should see God as a good father (as we know he is) and teacher (torah means instruction) who tells his children to do things that bring them benefits. “Don’t touch the stove you’ll burn yourself! Work hard at your math so you’ll do well at your profession. Be kind to your sister!” 

  The blessings are to obedience as effect is to cause. This is all a long way to say that if we’re not receiving the blessings that God promised would happen in consequence to obedience, then we probably aren’t be obedient. Watch the news for half an hour and you should be asking yourself not why is our country facing ‘natural disasters,’ but why aren’t we facing more. Why is it even a question that we are facing judgment?

  Paradoxically though, this leads us to the other extreme and incorrect supposition. If there is suffering it must be as a result of sin, yet we are studying the book that is the exception to this rule. God himself said that there was no cause for the evil he brought down on Job’s life. Joseph did not earn how his brothers treated him. David didn’t earn Saul’s enmity. Daniel didn’t deserve the captivity and persecution that he received, nor did his friends Azariah, Mishael, and Hananiah. Yeshua certainly didn’t deserve the way he was treated. 

  Scripture is full of the righteous suffering while doing the right thing. This generally does not hold true on the national level though. If Israel was being obedient then they couldn’t be touched. When they were in sin, no alliance could save them. However, even on the national level there were exceptions. In Judges 20 the scriptures tells of when Israel went to war against the tribe of Benjamin because one of its cities had raped and murdered a woman and attempted to rape a man. Benjamin had refused to give up the individuals who were guilty so Israel assembled an army of 400,000 men who drew swords against the 26,000 of Benjamin (7,000 of which were exceptionally skilled with the sling). This is a very disturbing account for graphicness, but also when you consider the difference between the nation at that time after the death of Joshua and before the death of Eleazor and our own mindset. The perpetrators were seemingly a small group, but apparently representative of a larger presence, but it was for one incident that the nation was willing to go to war for the sake of justice. Yet we have 15,000 murders and about as many reported rapes every year and we barely notice, but say the cops should do something. 

  Anyway, the nation goes up to get the men and they are refused. They ask counsel from God and he says attack. In the first day they lose 22,000 men, that’s just short of the number of Marines lost at Iwo Jima in the first three days. They ask counsel from God again and again he says attack. They lose another 18,000. Two times God sends Israel to attack a smaller force, and in obedience to him they lose 40,000 men because of a single woman who was raped to death. We clearly have no idea how sinful sin is. Finally they ask God again, and this time he says attack and tells them that he will deliver the Benjamites into their hands. They slay 25,100 of the infantry and in addition annihilate the inhabitants of every Benjamini city they come to and burn them to the ground. Only 600 men are recorded as surviving from the tribe, whether that includes women or not is unknown, but there aren’t enough women to preserve the tribe which leads Israel to a stranger predicament when they try to salvage the remnant of the tribe. 

  The point is firstly that we don’t take sin nearly seriously enough in our ‘justice.’ Secondly, a nation can suffer even if as a whole it is not wicked because of the wickedness of a part. This is all to say suffering in an individual’s life does not mean sin in an individual’s life. 

Job 4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. 
Job 4:10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken. 
Job 4:11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad. 

Eliphaz never lays a charge upon Job, in fact he started by speaking of how good and righteous Job had been, but like many of us he saw suffering and inferred sin. Take this in contrast to many of the saints of scripture:

Jos 7:11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. 

Eze 8:17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. 

When evil comes because of a sin, there is a sin to be known. Eliphaz has not seen a sin, he only assumes there is one. This is in violation of the most fundamental elements of sound judgment:

Lev 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. 

A righteous judge doesn’t consider the stature of the person. Judging the poor and lowly is the same as judging the highest of society.

Deu 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 

You must hear each side; listen intelligently. This is the word hear from the shema “Hear O Israel…” It is not a casual, but an intent listening. 

  Here Eliphaz has begun to listen seemingly, but has he really? What has Job really said? “I’m hurting, why is this happening?” There has been no accusation from him, there has been no pleading of guilt or innocence against a charge; but already Eliphaz is condemning him. He has established no fault and not listened to the cause of Job; this is very poor judgment.

  However, this is not a warning against judging. The body of Yeshua becomes very nervous when they hear talking of judging. Didn’t Yeshua say not to judge? Certainly we shouldn’t judge…right? Didn’t James say also so? But first, we must remember to look at the scriptures always from an earlier-to-later method, rather than as the body of Messiah has become prone to do, interpreting the later by itself and then condemning the earlier writings.

  We have already seen from the passage in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that God had commanded judgment of people by people. The basis of these judges authority was God himself:

Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
  So there is a biblical method of judgment, however not just anyone could judge, they had to be appointed…

Deu 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 
19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 

  This for example is the most simple explanation of what transpired with the adulteress in John 8. Yeshua could not condemn her because he was not a judge, and even if such a judge had been present Yeshua was not a witness. 

  Nevertheless, this has to do with formal judging by such an appointed judge. Job and Eliphaz as far as we know are not judges. However, they are all treated as elders:

Job 32:6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. 
7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 
9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

  Job and the others are clearly seen as elders. And while elders were not necessarily judges, in the sense that their judgments were not legally binding (for lack of a better phrase): 

Deu 19:11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: 
12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

Deu 21:1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: 
2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain…
6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: 
7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 
8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. 

Deu 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 

Deu 22:13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 
14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: 
15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: 
16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 
17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 
18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 
19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. 

Deu 25:7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 
8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 
9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 

  The difference between a judge and elder appears to be that a judge is senior to the elders in terms of rank. Or rather in modern vernacular, elders were trial judges and judges were appellate judges. That is to say, if you read over the texts above elders are seen speaking for the people to declare innocence, establishing presented facts such as whether a woman was a virgin; or whether a man was refusing to marry his brother’s wife; or enforcing a sentence. A judge on the other hand, was one who decided in controversies. When it was not clear who was right in a matter then it went to the judge.

  An elder had to therefore be able to judge facts, ie is this the woman’s tokens of virginity? Is this son really rebelling even after correction? Is this man refusing to build up his brother’s house. And at this level they could dish out a beating or in the case of a murderer, deliver him to the avenger of blood. Those may seem a vast spectrum of issues to deal with for a ‘lower court’ but really they all hinge on establishing the facts. If this man is a cold blooded murder then a judge doesn’t need to get involved because for murderers there is a clear sentence, unless there was some rare extenuating circumstance in which case it could be delivered to the judge.

  The point here is that while not appointed judges, the elders still had to make judgments and unlike judges, elders were not appointed, they were simply elder. So we can see that there is a time and place for judgment. There are to be courts and ranks of authority that judge in matters between people. Now, understanding this we must seek to understand the words of Yeshua and Apostles because they have been at times said to be against judgment.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Remembering always to look at the context, he is speaking to his disciples, none of whom we know to have been judges or elders. So it would seem that they don’t have a responsibility to judge so then they shouldn’t be, however, this doesn’t make sense because if you read the full passage he says “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…then shalt though see clearly to cast out…” 

  7:5 is directed at the hypocrite, who cannot see clearly, which means 1-5 also do. 

Luk 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

The context is similar and this parallel is immediately preceded by the command to be merciful that we may receive mercy. We need to remember a few key phrases from earlier concerning what a judge was supposed to do:

Deu 1:16 …Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man… 
:17…for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Deu 17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment…being matters of controversy… 

Deu 19:17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is…

Deu 25:1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment…

A judge was to judge between people, he was to judge controversies. When scripture speaks of the judge, judging the people, it isn’t referring to him going around “you’re a bad person! God can’t love you! God hates people like you!” The judge judged matters of Torah, deciding issues/matters. An example: if a judge says “You’re a murderer and can never be saved.” That’s judging a person. If he says, “I have diligently enquired in the matter and find that you have transgressed the torah and have committed murder, you shall be put to death.” He has judged the issue. 

  Let’s look at Luke again:

Luk 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 

  If you were never to judge issues/actions/matters then there could be no ‘forgiveness.’ Can you forgive someone who has done you no wrong? Why would God forgive us for forgiving things that weren’t sins? If you hurt your wife then you need to be forgiven. Is God going to forgive you if you forgive someone for giving you charity? No. Clearly there has to be a fault to be forgiven, there has to be the ‘sliver’ in your brother’s eye so that you can forgive it.   In fact this also explains that when he says ‘condemn not’ he is not talking about declaring someone as guilty, because again you have to be guilty of a crime to be forgiven for it. So he is clearly not talking about judging issues/actions; so what is he talking about? It’s as simple as reading the context.

Luk 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

  We are supposed to be the light and the salt and to do God’s will so that men will see our good works and glorify God, but what glory is there for God if we do the same as everyone else. If you help someone else out, they’ll help you out. Now it isn’t always true, but in general people will ‘hook you up’ if you ‘hook them up.’ But the truth is that when they do these things there’s an expectation of return/of gain. During my time in the Marine Corps I saw this all the time where one person would cheat to help someone else get a higher score on the rifle range (the famed skill of the basic rifleman is much exaggerated), then when the relays switched and the second shooter didn’t do as well, you would often here “Man, I didn’t get any pit love even though I was giving out…” And this is logical, if you don’t believe in God then you will always try to secure your own advantage here. What else are you waiting for?
Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 

  The standard God gives as always, is himself. We of course have nothing to give God. What is the meaning of my tithe? God made all the resources that I used to make the resources that I am now giving only a tenth back for. The only thing that I can actually make for God is my choices and it is the only thing he truly desires from us. 

  So the only thing that we can then deny God is also our choices. This is why it means everything that God is kind to the unthankful (who don’t acknowledge him) and to the evil. And the standard is the God who certainly knows that they will not return his favor, still is kind. The word kind here can also mean employed or useful towards. In other words he makes their lives better. We are to be well-doers and make people’s lives better by our resources because of the example set by God just as he makes people’s live better even when they do not acknowledge him. 

  On a side note, this is interesting in it’s correlation to Job’s situation. God is kind to those who are not kind to him; Job is in a situation where he is trying to find out why he should be kind to God when he is not being kind to Job. 

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

  He’s talking about doing good to all people regardless of their actions to you, in short returning good for evil. Then he says because God is kind to the unthankful and evil, therefore be merciful, or compassionate; have pity…pity on who? Those who are guilty; those who are not thankful; those who are evil. In other words, yes recognize that people do wrong and obviously judge the action/issue as right or wrong, but have pity on the person. So does this mean we say that a person is guilty, but do not hold them accountable for their actions?

  Well, we always fall short of God’s standard of himself, which seems like a terrible situation to be in because no one can fill God’s shoes except God. However, believe it or not there is an upside to this. God says be merciful, as he is merciful, so to know what that means we need to look at how God is merciful.

Exo 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 

Here the LORD is pronouncing his own name and proclaiming his attributes. There is so much richness in these two verses alone about who God is. But here we are looking at his mercy so that we can learn to be merciful. Firstly, understand the greek word oiktirmōn when it appears in the septuigent is the Hebrew word found here in verse 6 is “rachum” (H7349) meaning compassionate. This is word compassionate with one possible exception is only applied to God and it comes from a word meaning that can be translated fondle but is never done so. Even if it were, despite the stigma that is not a bad thing. If a man fondles his wife, or vice-versa it is a good thing. It is most often rendered either compassionate, merciful, or pity. 

  However, I’m going to disagree with that simplicity though I am not a scholar of foreign languages, but I don’t think alone it captures the correct sense. I say this because of the following Psalm:

Psa 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

This is one of my favorite Psalms because it came at the point that I was considering the holiness of God’s name and whether it should be spoken and I realized this Psalm loses so much if you don’t use his name as it is written. But the point from this verse, is the last line. “I will love thee…” If you render this as compassion or mercy, what does that mean? David can’t have mercy on God; no one can have mercy in God. Can anyone have compassion on God? Can we ‘feel sorry’ or commiserate with the one who has all strength and more compassion than anyone is capable of? 

  It is meaningless if not rendered love. If on the other hand you go to everyplace where it is rendered mercy or compassion and you put love in there, it makes perfect sense. It enhances what is already there. If you have love for someone then of course you commiserate with them, and of course you want to be merciful to them. 

  So the subject word Rachum (H7349) comes from Racham and means to be merciful/loving. So how does God show this ‘lovingkindness’ (which is how this word is elsewhere rendered). By keeping mercy (different word meaning kindness, favour, or goodness) for thousands. In otherwords, he saves up goodness to give people by the thousands. Forgiving three different kinds of infractions; contrary to popular belief all sin is not the same. There is iniquity, literally perversity or crookedness, wrong doing; this would be known fault, conscious sin. Transgression means to revolt, to apostasize, or break away; an active defiance towards God. Sin means an offence, a miss; you were probably aiming in the right direction, but you just fell short. Our God is willing to forgive all of those.  

  However, then he says the next line “…and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children…” This phrase could be literally translated “clean, but not exhaustively clean.” Elsewhere the individual word form “nâqâh” (H5352) is rendered ‘unpunished.’ So it could be rendered “unpunished, but not exhaustively unpunished.” So even though he will forgive the trespass, making atonement for it, he will not entirely remove the consequences of it. An example could be Moses when he struck the rock the second time in disobedience to God, he was forgiven but as a consequence he could not enter the promised land. David was forgiven his sin with Bethsheba, but the baby still died.

  So what do we know about God’s mercy? Firstly, not everyone gets it. 

Exo 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 

Remembering that Racham here rendered mercy can also be love, which then makes sense of Moses has found grace/favor in God’s sight and asks to be shown the glory. God says he will and ends it with a phrase that could be rendered “…and will shew love on whom I will shew love.” 

  God does not have to extend his lovingkindness on everyone. We know that God loves the whole world, but we also know that not everyone receives his mercy, so not everyone receives his loving kindness. 

Isa 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Isa 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

Jer 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them. 

God has mercy/lovingkindness to bestow on everyone, but he will have it on whom he will have it and the disobedient will not have it in many cases (though as we’ve seen he still sends gifts to the unthankful). Secondly, we saw back in Exodus 34, that even though he is full of mercy and does forgive rebellion, conscious sin, and missing the mark, he does not hold back all the consequences and punishment for their actions. 

  That may seem like a contradiction because how can God punish us for something we have been forgiven for? Well this is the flipside of obedience. Remember earlier we saw that if you believe God’s commands are arbitrary than any blessing that results from obedience is simply God throwing us a treat. On the other hand, if you believe that as God said, his commands are for our good then obedience will result in blessing. The inverse is that if God’s commands are for out good then disobedience will result in punishment as a natural consequence if left unchecked by God’s supernatural power. This is further proof of the premise of cause and effect because if punishment is not the natural consequence of our disobedient action than despite our forgiveness, God is still punishing arbitrarily since there is no actual correlation between our disobedience and our punishment.

  So then, in response to Yeshua’s teachings that we be merciful as our Father is merciful. This means again that we do not pretend that no wrong has been committed, mercy (or rather as we saw compassion or lovingkindness) is dependent on there being a fault to have mercy or compassion over. We must be ready to extend compassion to everyone…I would feel like I was on dangerous ground to say there is anyone you should not have compassion for. However, our compassion does not negate the consequences of their actions. 

  Therefore, when we move in this context into the subject in Luke and Matthew of not judging, it is perfectly consistent with the view that Yeshua is not talking about a prohibition on evaluating good from evil and right from wrong. But rather using the proper, non-hypocritical method of righteous judgment of issues, not people; being ready to forgive offenses that you determine have taken place; and being compassionate in consequences. 

  If this were not the conclusion than no one could be expected to follow Yeshua because he constantly judged; remember the seven woes? And he told his Apostles to judge; Matthew 18:15-22? Nor could you listen to Paul, who was certain not blameless, in fact he submitted his doctrine to the Apostles at Jerusalem and yet still had the guts to rebuke Peter. 
  Remember this passage?

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 

  Not only are there to be judgments made, we are to submit to the judgment of the saints rather than go to the courts of the world…though of course that was in Corinth where they did not have a system of courts that submitted to God (you will recall that the Apostles on occasions did submit to the Sanhedrin except when they were prohibited for speaking in Yeshua’s name). 

  The point is that we are to judge, but we are to judge righteously and compassionately. And again, yes, most of these passages spoke of judging in the formal binding sense. However, since we have determined that the seeming prohibitions against judging are in fact targeted at the uncompassionate and the hypocritical, there remains nothing that even slightly indicates that we are not individually supposed to judge the issues in our lives. We cannot forgive anyone if we don’t determine they have trespassed against us. We cannot know good doctrine from bad doctrine if we do not judge it. We cannot choose leaders if we cannot determine what men and women are sober, humble, grave and the many other qualities. 

  The people who are against judgment in any form have no idea what they’re saying, especially since it is their judgment that says we cannot judge. While it is possible that some are simply ignorant, I think it really goes to a misunderstanding of unity where it is pursued above truth. Rather we should have unity in love and truth. Judgment protects the community from false doctrine, and from evil. We must put away evil from our midst or we will all be unifed in our own destruction.