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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The judge vigorously beating his teenage daughter with a belt

For a YouTube to go viral, there must be something of great interest in it. More than a million people have viewed a recent video uploaded to that service, and it will surprise no one. Captured on video was a father vigorously beating his teenage daughter with a belt. What makes the video especially alarming is that the father serves as a judge who often tries child abuse cases.
 
The video was made seven years ago when the girl was fourteen. She insists that she didn't post it to seek revenge, but to force her father to seek the help he so obviously needs. Though I've not viewed the video, it does sound as if the father went beyond Biblical principles of child discipline. Beatings administered in a rage (which is apparently what happened in this case) are not what Scripture recommends.
 
In 2009 two judges were named in an investigation charging that they had sent juveniles to prison for cash. In some of the cases, the accused were not even assigned attorneys to protect their rights. No one objected when this story was labeled a "scandal". It was nothing short of outrageous for two who were supposed to protect the rights of citizens to participate in such a sleazy scheme.
 
Unless we've been involved in legal actions, we give little thought to matters like this. But what if it's me standing before this person who holds my future in his hands? Would I want him to be fair and impartial, and follow the rules of law? The answer is of course obvious.
 
Whether it happens to us on earth or not, one day we all have an appointment before a judge. The Judge of all the earth, God Himself, will render a verdict on our eternal destiny. What about His fitness to serve? Will we have any hope for a fair hearing?
 
The Lord spoke with Abraham about a "case" that had come to His attention. A great outcry had arisen regarding the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Were these accusations true? "I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know" (Genesis 18:21). God had not prejudged the case; He would gather all available facts before making His judgment.
 
Abraham trusted in God's fairness, and made a statement that is a bedrock to many of us today: "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Abraham, who knew the Lord very well, could not conceive of God acting unfairly.
 
The apostle Paul later reaffirmed the righteous nature of the Judge before whom you and I will stand: "Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained ..." (Acts 17:31). Judges in this world sometimes act hypocritically. Such would be absolutely impossible with our Judge.
 
Most encouraging is the news that God has made it possible for us - we who are guilty of sin - to be justified by the actions of His Son, Jesus Christ. "To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). Though God will be the Judge of all (Romans 14:21), His strong desire is to justify us.
 
Timothy D. Hall

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