For the week of January 15, 2000 / 8 Shevat 5760
Torah: Shemot / Exodus 10:1 - 13:16
Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28

Judgement Is Coming

At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead (Shemot / Exodus 12:29,30).

Last week we were looking at how God can be really harsh sometimes. The subjects of discipline and judgement are certainly not popular ones, but if we are not going to be selective in our pursuit of truth, then we have to reckon with this issue.

Yeshua was once confronted with this. We read,

Now there were some present at that time who told Yeshua about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices (Luke 13:1).

Look at Yeshua's response:

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish (Luke 13:2-5).

From Yeshua's answer we can surmise that the common philosophy of his day was that people suffered because of the wrongs in their lives. While some people today may think that, it seems to me that most don't try to make any sense at all out of human suffering. They may avoid it, help to alleviate it, but not try to understand it.

Due to the secularization of society, people don't take the time to ask these big questions. At least not until one broaches the subject. If I suggest that God really does exist and that he loves us, then I may be reproached due to the reality of human suffering.

So no matter what your viewpoint is, Yeshua's answer is relevant: "Unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Whether or not you like the fact that God is going to judge the living and the dead, it would be worth your while to find out the truth. Ignoring it won't make it go away, disagreeing will not change anything. Of course if all this is not true, then that is another matter.

What's amazing is how many people say they believe the Bible and won't accept their need to get right with God before it is too late for them.

I have a four-year-old son who is very bright, but at times very naughty. Recently my wife was aghast that immediately after correcting his behavior, he went right back doing what was doing before. He really thinks that he will get away it. Even if he gets caught five times for something, he tries it again thinking that he will avoid any form of negative consequence.

Aren't we the same? Often before we do wrong things, we convince ourselves that we will not get caught, that we will escape the consequences. But this kind of reasoning doesn’t help us at all.

We may or may not like God's judgements. We may or may not agree with him. But our thoughts and feelings aren't going to change anything. The sooner we get in touch with the reality that we have to answer to God for our behavior the better.

It would not be right to stop here, because actually God doesn't want to judge us at all. His desire is to see us escape the consequences of our wrongs. Through Yeshua's death and resurrection God has provided a way for that. All that is left for us is to accept his provision. If we don't, then we will have to face his judgement.

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