We, the jury, find the defendant…

judge, judgment, jury, jailThe statement “God is just” takes on a whole new meaning when you receive a little thing called a Jury Duty Summons. It is a weighty but necessary burden for American citizens, and Amos 5:10 hardly provides encouragement for the task: “There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.”

Gee, thanks a lot, Amos! Serving as a juror doesn’t conflict with the Christian faith, because although we cannot judge the heart of man, God DID instruct his people throughout history to judge legal matters amongst themselves.  And Jethro wisely advised his son-in-law Moses to delegate most legal disputes to several hand-picked, trustworthy men for resolution.  After serving as a juror, I no longer believe that God’s insistence on being the final Judge is strictly because of mankind’s fallacies and impurities or our inability to see another man’s heart (Rom 2:1-3). I think He rules the judgment seat to ensure that He alone absorbs the pain that pierces the spirit when passing judgment on another.  Even with a righteous, honorable judgment, the sorrowful burden is immense.  His position as Judge is yet one more level of His divine protection over us.  The burden of jury duty can haunt you … What if you wrongly set free a guilty person and they harm another innocent?  How can you bear to convict a guilty person when you yourself are far from perfect? I signed the verdict forms on behalf of my jury with a shaking hand, knowing that my signature would change the course of someone’s life. It left a painful pressure in my chest.

How much more must it grieve the Holy Spirit to sit in judgment of those who reject Him? Oh, how it must break His holy heart to judge those for whom He has a pure and perfect love. I’m grateful that He spares us the burden of judging others. “I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”  Deuteronomy 32:3-4


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