I sat down yesterday to write this article and as soon as my computer turned on, my phone rang. It was another 800 number. I wouldn't answer those things, since they are mostly collect calls from my incarcerated brother, but I do so hoping that it is a free (for me) call, from phone time that he had to work to obtain himself. I guess I just do not understand why families must pay for the faults of their loved ones, literally. We pay their commissary, their phone time, etc. It seems so unfair, but the reality is that is precisely what happens when we are in wrongdoing -- our loved ones are paying the cost...all the way to Messiah paying the cost for those He loves and also love Him.
I will say the phone call was Divine intervention on behalf of my thoughts on the parsha, which I have been sitting on all week. This parsha is about judges and justice. If God is both our judge and our justification, then He must be the one who defines justice.
"Only God can judge," "Don't judge lest you be judged," "Laws are left to interpretation..." These are some of the tidbits we hear from those who surprisingly think they can interpret the laws and justices of God without even being familiar with 1) the Author, and 2) His Torah! It's absurd. Yet, besides that, these are words that are uttered from the depths of a wicked heart that is already excusing plain words.
I judge that such phrases come from wickedness because they normally are said in veto to someone opposing the very actions that are to be judged in the Bible. The beginning of the parsha tells us that we are indeed to judge, and it does not for one second contradict Messiah's words that say not to judge. If one were only to read the remainder of that passage, it says that we are to judge in the same measure of which we are willing to be judged. A friend of mine posted on Facebook some time back that he apologizes if he is harsh on people, it is just that he holds himself to such a standard and it is hard for him to not hold others to it as well. I personally don't see the need for the apology. Didn't that passage say that is what we should do? Hold each other to the standard by which we hold ourselves? Isn't this standard the Law in its revealed moral attributes of God?
I weigh my heart and actions against the Torah, and I should do the same for you. In fact, this is what the parsha speaks -- it is not saying that one person can do this while the other is judged differently if they do not. It is saying you all do this and if any one of you do not, then this is the consequence. It is balanced and righteous judgment. The whole Torah is designed to give a people peace which you cannot have without justice. Hence, loving your neighbor as yourself includes holding you both to the same standard (the Torah), and not doing to him what would be hateful to do unto you.
As of right now, both of my brothers are behind bars. Skyler was sent to prison a couple of weeks ago. I cannot really speak for him, but I can say I was a bit disturbed at his initial desire when he got arrested. He wanted to take his case to trial because he didn't believe there would be enough evidence. He later decided on a guilty plea and swiftly took his plea bargain of two years. Donavan is looking at 2.5 years, and is trying to gain an alternative sentencing for drug-related crimes. I spoke to him my same thoughts I had when Skyler initially was trying to go to trial: There are two types of people out there, those that hate the crime and those that had the judgment (which is ultimately hating the judge). Those that hate the judgment/hate the judge, first of all, cannot stand by God when He executes judgment in that great and coming Day. (The question then remains, if they cannot stand by Him, though they claim to be His children, are they really His?). More so, those that hate the judgment will never change their behaviors, simply because they think the fault is in the judgment and not themselves. Those that hate the crimes...these are the ones that don't run from the consequences but run from the cause. I had to talk some of this into Donavan, because if I did encourage him to find loopholes then as a hypocrite I could liken myself to a Christian who excuses why we don't have to keep God's Law. In fact, I had to tell him I love the justice of the law even if he is against it (to parallel, God's Torah is not against us, we are the ones against it) -- it is easier to not excuse loved ones for their wrongdoings when I think if a stranger violated me in the same manner. Remember, just, equal, and righteous judgment.
People who are saved from the actions, the crime, the sins, are people that will ever praise Him, and people who think that (I'm comparing) two years is nothing in comparison of what they really do deserve. People who are only concerned with being saved from the consequence, sadly, I must compare to my own brothers: repeat offenders. The cycle will only stop when we learn to love justice, God's Torah, at the expense of hating the crime.
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