Judgment and Mercy

And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

Zechariah 7:8-10

These are great verses showing us what God wants us to be doing.  You will find all of the things mentioned in these verses throughout the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Apparently, they are things that God takes seriously.  In verse 10, we are told to not “oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor…”  We are supposed to look out for those among us who need help.  We are not to oppress them further, as each of them already has at least one major problem with which to deal.  But verse 9 says something that I found very interesting:

“…Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother.”  At first glance, those would seem to be two contradictory statements.  We would think that executing judgment would be the opposite of showing mercy and compassion.  I thought maybe that meant to execute judgment on the evildoers, but show mercy to the upright.  But that’s not what it says.  It says that we are to show mercy and compassion to “every man his brother.”  We are supposed to be merciful and compassionate to everyone.  How does that fit in with executing judgment?

To be honest, I don’t fully understand it.  But I do know that this is exactly what the Lord has done for me.  He has shown great mercy and compassion to me in sending His Son to die for my sins.  And He executes true judgment when He forgives me and shows me mercy, again because of what Jesus has done.  The second part of I John 1:9 tells us that He is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins…”

I may not fully understand everything, but I can understand the fact that I need to show mercy and compassion to those around me.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, this is so good. I don’t understand everything either, but somehow I get the feeling that true judgement is merciful and compassionate. I’m so glad that He is our Judge! God bless you as you continue to reach out to others in His name.


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