For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:2.
Last night I was in a sleepless state much of the time. Many representations passed before me. One was a scene in a council meeting where several were present. One man arose and began finding fault with one of his brethren. I looked at the speaker’s garments, and saw that they were very undesirable.
Another person arose, and began to state his grievance against a fellow laborer. His garments were of another pattern, and they, too, were undesirable. Still another, and another, arose, and uttered words of accusation and condemnation regarding the course of others. Everyone had some trouble to speak of, some fault to find with someone else. All were presenting the defects of Christians who are trying to do something in our world; and they declared repeatedly that certain ones were neglecting this or that or the other thing, and so on.
There was no real order, no polite courtesy, in the meeting. In their anxiety to make others hear, speakers crowded in while others were still talking. Voices were raised, in an effort to make all hear above the din of confusion….
After many had spoken, One of authority appeared, and repeated the words: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1)…. Christ Himself was present. An expression of painfulness came over His countenance as one after another would come forward, with uncouth dress, to expatiate upon the faults of various members of the church.
Finally the heavenly Visitant arose. So intent were those present on criticizing their brethren, that it was with reluctance that they gave Him opportunity to speak. He declared that the spirit of criticism, of judging one another, was a source of weakness in the church today. Things are spoken that should never find utterance. Everyone who by word of mouth places an obstruction in the way of a fellow Christian has an account to settle with God.
With earnest solemnity the Speaker declared: “The church is made of many minds, each of whom has an individuality. I gave My life in order that men and women, by divine grace, might blend in revealing a perfect pattern of My character, while at the same time retaining their individuality. No one has the right to destroy or submerge the individuality of any other human mind, by uttering words of criticism and faultfinding and condemnation.”—Manuscript 109, July 21, 1906, “Love Toward God and Man.”
The Upward Look p. 216
—-Please pray that Mike’s car gets fixed quickly so they can be on their way. Rose
—-Please pray for my son’s safety today. He will be getting up on a steep slippery metal roof putting solar panels in without any safety equipment out in the extreme heat. As usual his boss doesn’t supply any safety equipment. He will be out in the middle of the boonies and he may not have any cellphone service either if he needs help. I hope he is not working alone but he probably is. Thank you so much for your prayers for him. Connie
—-Please pray for my family. Debra
—-Please pray for my post open heart patient for healing. Emerson
My grandparents never owned a car, so we walked or rode the bus everywhere. When I was six, my mother saved up and bought a car that was nine years old. The salesman promised her that it was very reliable and would give her many years of service. He lied. My mother was so happy and proud of that pale green 1942 Buick. She took me for a ride as soon as she brought it home. As we rode along, we felt so free and laughed and talked. We no longer had to rely on anyone else to take us where we wanted to go. She envisioned many years of being able to go where she wanted when she wanted. We would take so many trips together. We would have so much fun. That thought made me so happy.
She had not driven the car for too many days, however, when she began to notice that the engine was not sounding quite right. She wasn’t sure what was wrong. Every time she got gas, the gas station attendant told her that she needed oil. That engine leaked like a sieve. First one thing and then another went wrong with that car. It seemed to be falling apart right before her eyes. Finally, after only having it for three or four months, she had the junk man tow it away. She was very disappointed. She had to wait another fourteen years before she was able to buy another car.
How much the evil one is like that used car salesman. He promises us years of great happiness if we will “buy” the pleasures that he offers. He says to us, as he said to Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” Gen 3:4 He lies. In fact Jesus calls him the father of lies. (John 8:44)
At first that forbidden pleasure we buy into seems wonderful. We feel so free, so elated, like we are on top of the world. But that feeling does not last. It is not long until we begin to experience a “let down.” That “darling sin” no longer gives us happiness. Things begin to go wrong. Our life begins to fall apart just as surely as that car my mother bought did. The freedom that we envisioned when we listened to the devil’s urgings, never materializes. Instead, we are left with emptiness and regrets. Indeed, we find ourselves bound with the chains of our sin. We long to be free, but are helpless.
Solomon had this experience. At the beginning of his reign, he was humble and sincere. “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.” 1 Kings 3:5-14
What a great future Solomon could have had. Yet it was not too many years before Solomon became a miserable man and an oppressive ruler. He had gone against the commandment of the Lord, “he shall not….multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” Deut 17:15-17 The record says, “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Kings 11:1-3
Solomon felt he was too wise to be led astray. He was sure the warning in Deuteronomy was for lesser men. So, Solomon who began as a great and wise king, became a slave to idolatry and the pleasures of sin that his wives urged upon him. Those pleasures that at first had seemed so desirable left him empty inside. In his dissatisfaction he lamented, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity….I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecc 1:2-14 In the end of his book, he urged, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 12:1,13
May we shut our ears to the whisperings of the evil one and turn away from his suggestions. May we, when tempted, flee to the Saviour for the deliverance that we so greatly need. May we place our weak and trembling hand in His Mighty and Powerful Hand and allow Him to lead us all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.