Righteous Judgement#5. “Judging Snakes.”

Righteous Judgement#5. “Judging Snakes.”

In the 1980s I was invited to visit a preacher friend in a faraway city. When sitting down to eat his wife asked him how his visit with Mrs Smith went. “She is doing better,” he said, “but her boys were there standing outside the door waiting for me.” His wife asked him what he said to them, and his reply has stuck with me to this day. “I knew that they didn’t want me there,” he said. “So, I walked up to them and told them I was there to see their mother. And seeing their attitude, I told them that they were useless sons who needed to get jobs and to stop bleeding off their mother.” I quickly scanned him for bruises, but seeing none, I asked him what their reaction was. “They did nothing!” he said. “I told them that they are worse than their drunken father and that I only have concern for their mother’s wellbeing.”

All are invited to judge the handling of this situation for yourselves but know that this man cared about the souls of the lost. Though I have not seen him for decades, what I saw that day was not an act. He had judged that those boys were a hindrance to the salvation of their mother, and they not only knew it, they also didn’t care.

Graciousness borne out of Christlike humility does not cancel out rebuke. John the Baptiser spoke plainly to those whom he knew would shut people out of the coming Kingdom of Christ. He was neither polite nor welcoming:
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7).

I would encourage all modern-day John the Baptisers to remember that John was no ordinary man. He had a very clear vision of his specialised mission and a perfect understanding of those who opposed it. Righteous Judgement is always seeking to see God’s loving will for all concerned. Sometimes that will mean that you will have to judge snakes.

John Staiger


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