Judgment - a divine sentence or clamity; a calamity sent by God.
Two choices are offered to a nation, a people (church), a family or an individual; one, 'to hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which He has commanded'; or 'to not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statues which He has commanded. The direct response of God is to the choice we make to do or not to do. If the choice is to do, then He has promised 'the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth'. But if the choice is to not do, then 'all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee'. This is found in Deuteronomy 28.
Can we afford not to choose His ways and obey? Yet, we see a nation and the church to be blatantly in disobedience against the ways and the Word of the Lord. The choices of the last few decades has allowed for the wrath of God to be unleashed on us. Within this year of 2011, we have seen record reports of destruction. And as much as they have tried to be explained away, they have been foretold to happen to any people that will not obey the word of the Lord.
Let us begin with what God has promised to do to any people or individual that disobeys His commands. We will look at the Scripture references in Deuteronomy 28 first.
Deuteronomy 28:1 - 14 are the verses of blessing for obedience.
Deuteronomy 28: 15 - 68 are the verses of curses for disobedience.
WHO DOES JUDGMENT COME UPON?
We know that judgment comes upon those that have disobeyed the Lord. The section here of 'Who' is to recognize whether it is intended for a nation, for the church, for a town, for a family or for the individual. As we go through these passages I will reference the 'who' that is being referred to.
Examples throughout Scripture teach us why, who and how God pours out His wrath. We would do well to learn from these examples. This initial draft of "Judgments" is not a complete reference but merely to reveal the truths of these things. It is the greatest of hope that we would learn the lessons of history so that we will not repeat the same trespasses and reap the same results.
We begin in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:1-31, we see the first sin and the judgment that was rendered for the choice of disobedience. God says, 'Don't' and men say, 'I will'. God answers man's choices with punishment to correct their self-rule. Wisdom is upon the man that learns from those of the past and learns not to offend a holy God. The simple ones, the fool defies God and thinks that they will not have to pay a price.
The Sin: Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knolwedge of good and evil. Then she turned and gave unto Adam and he did eat. Thus, sin entered into the world upon God's creation that was perfect, pure and undefiled. The 3 aspects of this sin is the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life. Satan made her look at the tree and made her question what God had stated; God said, 'Thou shalt not eat of the tree'; Satan said, 'Hath God said?' And upon doing that we see the actions done that led to the sin. She looked on it and lusted after it, for 'it looked good.' She wanted wisdom, 'desired to make one wise'. And she chose self over God and ate of it. And then one more step of sin, she had Adam eat of it. Sinners rarely ever want to sin alone, they must always seek to have someone else fall with them.
The Judgment: Upon their sin of disobedience and the eating of the fruit that opened their eyes, the Lord put an end to their days. They were created by Him, but their physical bodies would cease to be at their determined year. 'The wages of sin is death'. Sin is the cancer that racks the body that makes us die. This judgment of death goes far worse than just them. Sin's judgment always has further consequencesthan the here and now. This would now be passed on to their children. David said, 'I was born in sin'. 'No flesh shall enter into the kingdom of God because of their sin contaminating their flesh. Other judgments upon these three: the serpent was put on his belly; the woman would have to travil in birth pains and delivery; and the man would have to work by the sweat of his brow to till and reap the land. They were cast out of the garden and barred from re-entry. And the worse part, they begun the work of sin that has plagued, condemned and destroyed billions upon billions of lives into hell. Better to have no children, than to have children and let them be children of hell.
The Response - They would simply have to face and endure the punishment meted out to them. The sin was done, there was no chance for a correction. Sin had come into the world and now remains.
The very next chapter brings us to the next sin we need to look at.
The Sin: In Genesis 4, Adam and Eve have had two sons, Cain and Abel. In verse 3 - 5, these two boys bring their offering unto the Lord. Abel's offering was accepted and Cain's offering 'He did not respect'. Some argue that it was because Abel's was the animal sacrifice and Cain's was produce. The Scripture does not say that. It says that Abel's offering was counted righteous before the Lord; while Cain's was counted unrighteous. It was not 'what' he brought', but intent of not bringing the best. Upon this rejection by God of Cain's offering, we see an immediate downward spiral into greater sin. In verse 5, 'he became angry, and his countenance fell'. Then in verse 8, his anger continued and rose to wrath and he killed Abel.
The Judgment - Upon God calling Cain out about what he did, God requires an answer. 'the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.' In verse 11 the curse is issued, 'And now art thou cursed from the earth. . .(v. 12) When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.'
The Response - We see again there was nothing that Cain could do to reverse the sentence passed against him. He went out from the rest of the family. He was branded in his forehead and we know that God cannot lie; therefore, the ground barely produced for him, men reviled him and stayed clear of the marked man. And what does Cain do? He goes into another land that again we see the by product that he continues his sins in having children. And Cain's line of children can be traced fo those in Genesis, chapter 4: 16 - 24. And they were evil just like him. And when the flood came only the line of Adam through SEth was preserved. The line of Cain was removed from off the earth.
Oh, many times do we see this in the Scriptures when God removes an entire lineage from off the earth. It is one of the most horrible judgments passed upon the wicked. We see it in the kings of Israel, king Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin; the line of king Baasha and the line of king Ahab, all were removed from off the face of the earth.
In Genesis chapter 6:
The Sin: In Genesis 6:5, 'And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continaully.' One of the most horrifying verses in the Bible. None righteous, in all the earth, but Noah. Their thoughts, day in and day out were 'continually evil'. What is the difference between then and now? We are, no doubt, not far from this.
The Judgment: "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth" Again, as we just saw with the lineage of Cain and the other wicked men of the other, what does God do to them? He removes them from the face of the earth. 'I will destroy' is a study found throughout all the Bible. God will destroy and condemn and afflict the evil; but God will bless, provide and protect the righteous. In verse 11 -12, '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.' In verse 13, He repeats, 'I will destroy them with the earth.' Now in verse5, He is going to remove man; but in verse 13, He will remove mand and destroy the earth. In verse 17, He will destroy the earth and man and beast by flood.
The Response: Noah built and preached for 120 years to give sinful man the chance to repent and serve the Lord.
Only 5 verses in this short chapter. Yet, we see God speaking through Jeremiah to Baruch to announce His will.
Who - an individual is being given a promise about the judgment that is coming; verse 1, 'unto Baruch'; He felt that God was judging him. In verse 3, 'Thou didst say, Woe is me not! for the Lord hath added grief unto my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and i find no rest.'
The Sin - there is no reference to the sin of the people or in reference to Baruch. But coupled with the other prophecies and words of JEremiah, we know it to be for their disobedience and unwillingness to repent and turn back to God with their whole heart. This can be substantiated by many other Scriptures already referred to. slightly referring to verse 5 is Baruch trying to gain notriety, fame, or perhaps approval from the people. God quickly renounces this to him.
The Judgment - In verse 4, God says, 'Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land' Judgment for them to beremoved from the land. God says, 'I will bring evil upon all flesh'; this is the bodies to be attacked and assualted. And when God says 'all' that means 'all'. Every person was in danger. WE know the other warning that went out against them of famine (starvatin) and death by the sword.
The Response - a warning to Baruch to shun his desire for fame and advancement. 'Cling to that which is good; abhor evil.' Turn away from these people that you are seeking their applause and favor or you shall be destroyed as they will be. But if you obey, God will spare your life and give it unto you for perserverance.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon