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Archive for June, 2010

Comfort

… the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

This is a comforting statement to those who have been personally harmed by others. It is full of promise that those who harm others will be dealt with properly.

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So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided.
Esther 7:10

This wasn’t the first time that Haman was a victim of his own desire. At the beginning of chapter 3, Haman had received a big promotion. The effect was that men were supposed to bow to him. Mordecai, being a Jew, did not believe in bowing to men, but only to God. Haman got ticked about that because Mordecai would not treat Haman like a god. Therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews.

One day when the king asked for Haman’s advice on how to honor a man, Haman presumed that the king was planning to honor him, so Haman’s advice was to make a grand spectacle where everyone would know he was being honored by the king. But the king had actually been asking because he wanted to honor Mordecai for passing along information that saved the king’s life. When Haman saw Mordecai receive such grandiose honor, he was doubly ticked.

Haman’s own ideas had backfired on him. He built lofty gallows at his own house with every intention of seeing Mordecai swinging there.

Esther learned about Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews and planned an intervention. Esther played on Haman’s tremendous pride by inviting him to the banquet as she wined and dined the king. When the king was properly mellowed and ready to give Esther what ever she wanted, she exposed Haman. Now it was the king’s turn to get ticked. That is when Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai.

But when it came to the king’s attention, he commanded by letter that his wicked scheme which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Esther 9:25

This illustrates the principle that a critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.

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God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Romans 2:16

For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:10, 12

Some theologians say that these verses apply only to saved people; that the lost are condemned to hell and do not stand to give account of themselves. Yet the missing verse above, the eleventh, is a quotation of Isaiah 45:23 that indicates all mankind will submit to the Lord.

For now, your fate is in your own hands. You make the choices that you will be held accountable for on Judgment Day. People who have manipulated the truth and caused loss to others will be held accountable for that. People who have excused themselves by saying that “the courts can figure that out, I just need to report my suspicions,” will suddenly find themselves in a court before the Judgment Seat of Christ and he will indeed figure that out. He will figure that you gave testimony to things you did not know for a fact. He will figure out that you lied.

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For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10

‘Judgment seat’ is a single word in the original Greek, and it is pictured as more of a step than a chair.  Here will be a time of accounting for all.

The ‘deeds’ get a little bit of qualification by the term ‘according to.’  Motives are taken into consideration.

God’s justice is vindicated because the motives are counted. Some people will get a reprieve, while others will be condemned. Many social workers who claimed they took action “for the children” whist they were really saving their sorry butt careers will be exposed and judged as bad. Many who were willing to play loose with the facts so that they could look like heroes will be exposed for the wimps they truly are.

The Judgment Seat is the Lord’s, therefore it must be good. Surely it will offer relief to those who have been wrongfully accused.

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Balance of Power

To You, O Lord, belong mercy and loving-kindness, for You render to every man according to his work.
Psalm 62:4

Once again we see that rewarding a man according to his work is coupled with loving-kindness. It is both merciful and just.

Only God can balance these two powers accurately. Showing mercy to a liar would not be just treatment of the person who was lied about if there is no redress.

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The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared.
Psalm 9:16

Verse 16. The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Not only do we read it in the word of God, but all history, all experience, records the same righteous justice of God, in snaring the wicked in the work of their own hands. Perhaps the most striking instance on record, next to Haman on his own gallows, is one connected with the horrors of the French Revolution, in which we are told that, “within nine months of the death of the queen Marie Antoinette by the guillotine, every one implicated in her untimely end, her accusers, the judges, the jury, the prosecutors, the witnesses, all, every one at least whose fate is known, perished by the same instrument as their innocent victim.” In the net which they had laid for her was their own foot taken — into the pit which they digged for her did they themselves fall.
Barton Bouchier, 1855.

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Impending Things

‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’
Deuteronomy 32:35

When God’s judgment falls, it will come speedily. Cliché perhaps, but the question is not if, but when. A literal translation of the final phrase of this verse is awkward, but insightful:  And haste do things prepared for them.

It is as if part of the judgment is the blindside effect of its swiftness. There have been over twenty posts to this blog now, each showing some aspect of the design that God holds man responsible for his actions and repays in kind.

A tremendous amount of teaching and verbal warning is given on this point throughout scripture, (and yet more will shown in future blogs,) But the judgment itself will be displayed like a sinkhole with very little visible warning.

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