God Does Not Use our Standard to Judge Us

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In reading Isaiah something jumped out at me as I read 11:3.The Holy Spirit through Isaiah is prophesying about the future coming of Messiah, Christ Jesus. In verse 1 of chapter 11, He is called “a shoot” and “a branch” who comes from Jesse, the father of David. Verse 2 reads this way, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” Now the really interesting thing to me is in verses 3 and 4.“ And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.” (NASB)

I am going to take you back to the Reformation for a moment so stay with me as I explain what jumped out. Martin Luther who is credited with getting the Reformation started with his 95 Thesis that he nailed on the door of the church building at Wittenberg. (By the way, a friend made a picture of the  door where they were nailed (not the original door) and gave it to the wife and I in 1964.) Luther had wrestled with Romans 1:17 as a monk as to what it meant to live by faith. (See Hab 2:14 and Gal 2:20) The meaning of “live by faith” played a major role in Luther’s becoming a believer in Christ Jesus. Prior to his conversion he had struggled and struggled to live up to the Roman church’s requirements. The basic belief, and I’m not being critical of the Roman church but just laying the ground work for Luther’s conversion, was that a person had to do certain things to obtain God’s favor. (Now hold on to that thought of man obtaining God’s favor.) When Luther was converted He preached that God’s favor by our actions was not the way we become a child of God but we live by faith alone.

Now think for a moment about trying to get God’s favor by the things we do. It can be frustrating and we have no measuring device to determine when we do the proper things or how much to do in order to get into His Kingdom. Luther did everything possible that he thought would get and keep him saved. The point being is that God would have to use what we do in order to determine (judge) whether He will accept us. Our behavior would determine if we would be His child. This is the way us humans think and function so if we are not careful we will begin to think God functions the same way. After all in courts of law physical evidence connected to the crime is crucial for conviction. What do witnesses see and hear? What did the investigators find? Thus what is presented in a court room is evidence that can be seen or heard by the the jury or judge. Our world exist of data collected by our five senses so that we can live. Based on the way humans function we will make God into our image and think of Him as collecting  the physcial evidence of our behavior which is outside Himself that can be seen or heard to convict or not convict us of being guilty. Our thinking and imagination of God can go like this. “Dewey you’ve been a good boy so your Christmas will be good.” or “John I liked what you did and I think it is enough for Me to adopt you as my son.” As humans we work hard at getting others to like us so we will transfer that belief to God. We will think that God needs us to behave a certain way so He can declare us righteous enough for His child.

How unscriptural this thinking is and in Isaiah 11:2-3 God specifically tells us how the Branch who will have the Spirit of the Lord will judge. The Branch will have the spirit of wisdom, understanding, strength, counsel, knowledge and fear of the Lord. Here’s what caught my eye in verse 3. “. . .He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; . . . .” God is telling us that nothing outside Himself will determine how He will decide regarding us. We cannot influence or persuade His decisions. So He is telling us “don’t try to put on a show for me so that I’ll think you are great because you are not. You are a rotten, corrupt, sinful person. If I do something good for you it is because I get pleasure and it glorifies me. You can’t make me love you. I love because I am love. I am wrathful because I am love and cannot tolerate your rebellion against me. Don’t try to manipulate me so I’ll give you a goody.”

I can only conclude from these verses that God’s sovereignty is absolute over His creation and that He does not dance to the beat of our drum. Our only response to Holy God and Christ Jesus our Lord is to be prostrate before Him in total dependency with gratefulness and worship. I have to remember that God is holy, righteous, love, grace, mercy, judging,and wrathful and I cannot change or influence any of His attributes.

I just need to cry out as the four living creatures of Rev 4:8 did, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” or as Isaiah said when he saw the Lord on His throne and the Seraphim were worshiping Him. Isaiah 6:3 tells us they are around the throne and one calls to another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” (NASB) Then in verse 5 Isaiah says, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, . . . .” God is Holy and He is Almighty God who is sovereign in every aspect of His providence. And we of His providence are rotten to the core and need His mercy and grace.

Sole Deo Gloria

Dewey Wise
Dec , 2010

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