All His Ways Are Judgment
By: Brian A. Yeager
Our study in this article comes from an Old Testament Scripture spoken by Moses as a song in the ears of the people (Deuteronomy 32:44). Here is that Scripture: “Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). If you were to read the whole chapter, there is much said therein about God’s judgment. The children of Israel were told to “remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations...” (Deuteronomy 32:7). The context reminds Israel of God’s deliverance (Deuteronomy 32:8-14). The context reminds the children of Israel of their rebellious actions (Deuteronomy 32:15-18) and how that led to God’s anger and jealously being kindled against them (Deuteronomy 32:19-25). The children of Israel were reminded, and needed to be, of God’s vengeance and judgment (Deuteronomy 32:35-43).
As you read through this song and consider it, you should find yourself considering your own life (Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:1-12). Beyond your self-examination, which is right to go through often (Psalms 119:59-60, Lamentations 3:40, Ezekiel 18:27-30, Haggai 1:5, Haggai 1:7, I Corinthians 11:23-32, II Corinthians 13:5, Galatians 6:4-5, and I John 3:20-21), you should have other questions. For example, what does it mean that all of God’s ways are judgment? How, if at all, does this apply to me? Let’s examine these things through God’s word.
What Does “All His Ways Are Judgment” Mean?
At the onset of this article we briefly discussed the context of the verse in question (Deuteronomy 32:1-43). If you read the whole song, you can certainly come to understand that God was teaching Israel about how their actions provoked His judgments. Going beyond the context, I found some Scriptures that make our study a little easier.
Consider this: “Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men” (Psalms 9:11-20).
In the Psalm we just partially read, we see that God’s judgment makes Him known. His judgment is an identifier of who God is. He is mercy and salvation to the just, defender of the poor, and the punisher of the wicked whom is snared by their own works. Knowing God means you understand that He exercises lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth and delights in such (Jeremiah 9:24).
In saying that “all His ways are judgment” we are saying that God is the one who holds both salvation and destruction in His hands (James 4:12). There is a finality to that statement as well. We must understand that all of God’s ways lead to a final conclusion that is not able to be overturned (Ecclesiastes 3:14; cf. Matthew 25:31-46). His judgment carries both hope and hopelessness (John 5:28-29). So, that leads us to think about how all of God’s ways being judgment has an impact on our lives.
How Does All Of God’s Ways Apply To Me?
Plain and simple, we need to understand that everything we do and do not do ultimately is being judged by God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Matthew 12:33-37, Matthew 16:27, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 2:16, Romans 14:11-12, I Corinthians 4:5, and II Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, everything He has done, is doing, and will do comes down to the final conclusion – JUDGMENT. Whether that judgment is about our salvation or our damnation is up to you and I (Isaiah 3:10-11 and Galatians 6:7-8).
Therefore, as we apply this to ourselves and not just Israel, we need to be mindful that God is watching everything we think, say, and do (Psalms 11:4-7, Psalms 44:21, Psalms 94:11, Proverbs 15:3,and Jude 1:14-15). We need to realize that He is always considering what He sees in us. At one point, that led to the destruction of the earth by water (Genesis 6:5-17). He was judging men then as He is now. Notice: “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings” (Proverbs 5:21). Now let’s consider one more thing before we conclude our study.
One More Thing...
In the same verse as our study has surrounded, we also read that God is just and right. As we consider that all of His ways are judgment and how that applies to us, we need to remember that too. God is just and does not do anything wrong (Zephaniah 3:5). The Lord is righteous in all His ways (Psalms 145:17). Therefore, we need not be in terror that all of God’s ways are judgment unless we are not prepared to be judged by Him.
All of God’s ways are judgment because He is always observing and weighing the ways of man (Proverbs 16:2 and Jeremiah 16:17). For us, it is Jesus specifically who will judge us according to His will (John 12:48 and II Timothy 4:1). He and the Father are one (John 10:30). Therefore, what is said of the Father’s ways can be said of His (John 14:9-10). Jesus knows you inside out (John 2:24-25). Be sure all of your ways are in accordance with His Judgment!
Individual, Concurrent, And Collective Action
By: Brian A. Yeager
At the conclusion of our last study I cited a few verses for your consideration. Here they are for us to start our study with: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican” (Matthew 18:15-17). In these three Scriptures we see individual action, concurrent action, and collective action. Individual action occurred when the one who has a fault with another goes to him alone. Concurrent action was when two or three individuals were included and acted as individuals doing the same thing at the same time. Collective action was when the whole assembly was included in the disciplinary actions necessary.
We see other contexts in the Scriptures wherein the roles of individual Christians, a group of Christians, and the whole church are distinctively different. Take, for an example, how Christians are to help widows (I Timothy 5:3-16). If you read the reference I just cited you see how individual Christians, multiple Christians, and then the whole local church have different roles in helping widows.
It does not take an in-depth study of the Scriptures to understand that there are different works of individual Christians than for the local church. We have already proven that. It does take some sensibility to understand that the common doctrine of “what the individual Christian can do the church can do”, is a false doctrine. Think about it, can the church engage in authorized sexual activity like two lawfully married Christians can (I Corinthians 7:1-5)? Obviously not (Hebrews 13:4)!
Unfortunately, this study has to be had because of false doctrine. If the false doctrine of confusing the work of Christian(s) and the church didn’t exist, this study wouldn’t need to either. Over the years, every new Christian that has been converted from the world to Christ has considered this study simple. The ones whom have a difficulty with this study are the so-called “Christians” who have been “brought up in the church” (foolish talk).
As a Christian, you and I have certain things we should be doing that the church collectively cannot. For example, fulfilling the lesson of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37). The church is only authorized to aid truly needy saints (Romans 15:25-27, I Corinthians 16:1-4, and II Corinthians 8:1-9:13). As individual Christians, even acting concurrently at times, we are to be “good neighbors” to all (Romans 13:8-11).
Let’s be sure we are doing the right works individually, concurrently, and collectively. In so doing, we will be prepared for the Judgment individually (Romans 14:11-12) and collectively (Ephesians 5:25-27 and I Peter 4:17-19). To further help us in our studies about our roles as Christians and the local church, we are going to study the work you, I, and we have in exposing error and defending the truth.
Volume 17 – Issue 2 - September 25th, 2016