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Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. He who speaks against a fellow believer or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge. But there is only one who is lawgiver and judge—the one who is able to save and destroy. On the other hand, who are you to judge your neighbor?
James speaks here about something the Pharisees do all the time throughout the New Testament: judging others. Believers should not speak evil in judgment against other believers. There is a perfect Judge who has earned the right to judge every single person that has ever lived on this earth, once and for all. That Judge, Jesus, sees perfectly the hearts of all men and women, and in His rich mercy and grace is the only one qualified to "save, or destroy". However right we think we are, the "right" belongs to Christ. We should stick to, "speaking the truth in love".
You must appoint judges and civil servants for each tribe in all your villages that the Lord your God is giving you, and they must judge the people fairly. You must not pervert justice or show favor. Do not take a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and distort the words of the righteous. You must pursue justice alone so that you may live and inherit the land the Lord your God is giving you.
As can be seen here, God's desire is for justice, and to keep justice going throughout the nation of Israel (as well as to keep the peace), "judges and officers" (KJV) were to be appointed for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, in all the towns they would come to possess. This was not meant to be an empty office, just for show. The office came with responsibility, and a call to integrity and to live upright before God. The office of the judge was not only to handle disputes, it was to set a tone of justice and wisdom throughout the land of Israel that would be emulated by its people.
Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him. Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. “My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins. So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”
This verse says so much, so powerfully, about Jesus Christ and the magnitude and measure of the awesome love of God. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would speak truth and meet each one of us where we are with this amazing scripture. Stop us in our tracks and unleash new life-giving water in and through our lives. To You, Lord Jesus, we owe everything! Thank You! Amen.
No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or leave you alone. Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them.
God's words to Joshua as he takes leadership of the people of Israel, in replacement of Moses who just passed away. Talk about shoes to fill, I'm sure Joshua felt at least a little pressure. Yet, he believed the Lord His God, and God gives Joshua words of encouragement. 3 times in 10 verses in Joshua 1, God says, "Be strong and courageous". God wants Israel to march into the promised land with confidence and like a storm, for He is with them. When God calls us to certain purpose, we should also go courageously allowing Him to lead us every step of the way.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into despair. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
Make no mistake, God loves you. This verse is not a measure of God's love for you, His love for you does not vary depending upon your closeness to Him. Whatever you feel for Him, or whatever you think of Him, He loves you right now. In order to grow in our relationship with God in Christ Jesus, we must "draw near to God". (NKJV) This comes from repentance, and from choosing to live in the light. It is Jesus alone who washes us clean of our sin, and it is the power of God alone that purifies our hearts. We desperately need God, and that knowledge should humble us to live with gratitude.