Names of God – part 46:
The LORD our Judge
YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God.
The second part of the name here is how God relates to us: Shapfat means Judge, but this name is not about the judge of the whole world, although God will judge the whole world, scripture is clear about that. What I am looking at is what it means to be in a relationship with a God who is our judge. Here is Isaiah 3:22 from the ESVUK translation:
For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver;
the Lord is our king; he will save us.
Written at a time when the Assyrians (now Iraq and beyond) were the political power and were conquering all – they had already taken Syria, Lebanon and the northern Kingdom of Israel, and were threatening Judah. The message is not one that says “You will be judged by a merciless judge, but it is a word of comfort, God is our judge who will judge in our favour. The Bible is clear that God does not leave the guilty unpunished, but he is our judge who will protect our rights.
God is not a judge to be afraid of but a close, compassionate judge. The fact is that too often God’s justice is demanded in the midst of his people when the only thing the Lord is seeking is people who come to him not with accusations, or indications or asking for condemnation but asking for mercy.
When we wrong God we can come to him for forgiveness, but being citizens of God’s kingdom means we have to live by his values, one f those values is that we be like God in forgiveness.
Lord God our Father,
Turn our heats to those who wrong us so that we can be like you in love and forgiveness.