I’m an Auburn man, so I have to be an Auburn fan, win or lose. But I have to admit, the way our football team won over Arkansas this year was a gift from the referees. Our quarterback tried to down the ball, but it should have been judged a fumble. Auburn retained possession and kicked the winning field goal. Lights out. It’s done. After the game, the SEC admitted the officiating error.
It can’t feel good, being on the dark end of judgment. Take the Supreme Court vacancy. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit before the Senate to be considered for that job, especially given the politics of the moment. You know going in that whichever party nominates you the other will judge everything you ever said or wrote, and the media will dig for (or invent) scandals. The judge is being judged.
You face all kinds of judgments if you think about it. How did your annual performance review turn out this year on your job? Is your customer happy with the work you did or the product you sold? The IRS judges how you completed your tax return. The highway patrol judges if you obey traffic laws. Anytime you care what people think about what you said, or how you look, you are expecting a judgment.
“As God is my judge,” say people swearing to tell the truth. And He is. Daniel, the name of a historic Hebrew hero means just that. The Bible tells us, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27), and “We will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Rom. 14:10). The referee, the Senate, or the customer might judge wrongly, but does God?
For all the dark, foggy gloom, you will find blue skies and bright sunlight in the words of Jesus. He said He didn’t come to judge because that has already happened. God already knows that “men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” He said, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world.” Simply put, everyone has the opportunity to step out of the darkness and into the Light. And then this amazing grace emerges: “He who believes in Him is not judged” (John 3:16-19). Just to make sure nobody misses the point Jesus later said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).
No, God doesn’t judge wrongly. Nor does He make a referee’s mistake. When Jesus stepped forward to accept your guilt and you accept that offer by believing and following Him, God judges you in the light of mercy. Step into that judgment Light!