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Judgment

28th December 2008, mgh

 

1) Understanding God's Judgment

Most Christians today are very focussed on God's love and mercy, which is indeed abundant, but very little attention is given to one of the most dominant themes in the Bible, which is Justice and Judgment. This article will explore the nature of judgment as presented in the Bible in its various phases. For a full understanding of God's purpose with humans, it would be unwise to ignore the theme of Judgment, as it exists throughout the whole Bible. Today, this topic has serious implications for this present generation, as they will see the final Judgment.

Disobedience and Judgment: Adam

Judgment is a fundamental theme of the Bible and occurs in a number of different forms. The opening chapters of the Bible instituted judgment. For the disobedience of Adam and Eve, who failed to obey God's instructions not to eat of the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden, there was immediate judgment. From that time all mankind were subject to their punishment, which is death. At the same time there was provision made for forgiveness and the promise of life beyond the grave, on specific conditions. The first condition is obedience.

The following verses contain the purpose of creation. A way was introduced by which humans could obtain redemption and forgiveness of sins. It was clearly demonstrated that the first requirement was obedience to the laws and commands of the Creator.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou have done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shall bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art , and unto dust shall thou return. (Genesis 3:14-19)

The serpent, was punished. The serpent became a symbol for the power of sin, the liars that destroy humans and condemn them to death.

In this case the sin was specifically disobedience to God's instructions. Adam and Eve were tempted by the lust of their eyes, and, the promptings of the temptation caused by the lie of the serpent that they would not die.

Sin was to be overcome in Jesus, the “seed”, that is a descendant, of the woman, through his sinless and obedient life. Jesus was the first to gain eternal life. The power of sinful men, who are figuratively the seed of the serpent, crucified Jesus. The phrase “bruise his heel”, indicates a non-fatal wound and Jesus was raised from the dead because he was sinless. Jesus had destroyed the power of sin by overcoming sin and in a figurative way had “bruised the head of the serpent”.

Adam and Eve both received the judgment of God. They were condemned to a life of hardship and then death. Their redemption and the hope of all mankind would come through the 'seed' of the woman, who would be sinless and be sacrificed to redeem mankind from their sins.

Wickedness, Violence and Judgment: Noah

Noah and his family were saved from God's judgment on the world of his day. By the time of Noah, the earth's population had become wicked and violent and 'had corrupted his way upon the earth'. A new beginning was required, as the people had turned away from the Creator. God destroyed the people and began a new phase in the plan of redemption, with Noah's family as the foundation of a new era in man's history.

The Genesis account demonstrates that wickedness and violence will be judged. The flood of Noah's day brought judgment on that generation and showed the principles that must be found in those worthy of redemption. Added to disobedience that was seen in Adam and Eve, the violence and wickedness in the earth in Noah's time were additional aspects of man's behaviour condemned by God. In contrast, Noah revealed the character that was required by God. We are told that Noah was 'just' and he 'walked with God'.

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.(Genesis 6:6-12)

God promised that He would never again destroy all mankind. However, in the course of history it has been recorded in the Bible that some nations have been destroyed for their wickedness and idolatry and for “corrupting” God's way on the earth.

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