The Kingdom of Judah was in trouble. King Ahaz had rejected God vehemently—even sacrificing his own son as a burnt offering to other gods! When we ask God to leave by our actions, He politely and graciously steps away, although it pains Him deeply. So when the Kingdom of Israel decided to attack the Kingdom of Judah, God allowed it to happen. But Israel took advantage of Judah and treated them cruelly—so cruelly that a prophet named Oded had to come and put a stop to the rampage.
“Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage that has reached up to heaven. And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the Lord your God? Now hear me, and send back the captives from your relatives whom you have taken, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.”
2 Chronicles 28:9-11
Judah was sinful, so God let Israel capture them. Israel was also sinful, and God, through the prophet Oded, warned them not to take advantage of their relatives. In other words, while Israel became proud about their victories, they forgot that they were not totally blameless either and could easily be enslaved and killed as well.
Jesus taught something similar, but He spoke in terms of trying to remove a speck in your brother’s eye when there’s a log in your own (see Matthew 7:1-5).
Today, we sometimes find ourselves in situations where we must correct others. Let’s be careful to be merciful, knowing that we also have faults ourselves. As far as possible . . .
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
And when it IS your place to judge…
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
-Timmy Baze 😀