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"The Lord is our Judge." — Isaiah 33:22

In ancient times the character of a judge was united with that of a sovereign. To deliver the award of acquittal, condemnation, or pardon, was the exclusive prerogative of majesty. Even in our days the sentence pronounced by the appointed expositors of the law must have the fiat of the monarch before it can be fulfilled.

The word Judge is frequently, in the Scripture, synonymous with Ruler. But here, the Lord, as "our Judge," is distinguished from the Lord, as "our Lawgiver" and "our King;" the term should therefore be taken in its more peculiar meaning.

And this view of God should blend with every other character he sustains: not to depress hope, but to prevent presumption; not to hinder our access to God, but to sanctify us when we come nigh him; not to inspire gloom, but to exclude from us all that carelessness and levity so inconsistent with our dependence and responsibility. "If ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear."

He is our future Judge. So then, says the Scripture, every one of us must give account of himself to God. "God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing." And who could bear the thought of this process, without the knowledge of a Mediator? The only way to find safety in that day, is to look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, and to be found in him. He is our advocate with the Father, and he is the propitiation for our sins. The charges brought against us are all true, and we have nothing to offer even in our own extenuation. But we appeal to our Surety, and he answers for us. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

He is our Judge at present. And the Apostle speaks of it as a privilege of the Gospel dispensation, that "we are come to God, the Judge of all."

Are you perplexed about the path of duty, and yet you must move forward, while importance is attached to every step? Refer yourselves to his unerring counsel. Be influenced and encouraged by the command and the promise, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Is your spiritual state doubtful to your own minds? And do you dread delusion? Present the case before him, and say "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Do you lie under the misapprehension of friends, and the reproaches of enemies? Say, with Job, "Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." How often did David turn from the groundless and cruel censures of men, to Him who knoweth all things! "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely, I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child." "Let my sentence come forth from thy presence: let thine eyes behold the things that are equal." Are you reviled? Revile not again. Do you suffer? Threaten not, but commit yourselves to Him that judgeth righteously. It is pleasing to have the approbation of our fellow-creatures, but there is a higher, a juster, a more merciful tribunal. It is a light thing to be judged of man's judgment. He that judgeth us is the Lord. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

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