From Jim O'Brien
August 31, 2018

Hi Friend,

Justice and Judgment

We're approaching that season of the year that represented for the Jews a time of judgment. The first Holy Day of the season is the Feast of Trumpets, so called because the Trumpet sounded. Little information is given in the Old Testament about the meaning of Trumpets but folks who study the Bible find a connection to the term 7 th Trump in the Book of Revelation. It refers to the day of God's judgment on mankind. Now, don't stop reading here-I understand how depressing it can sound to talk about Judgment Day.

At the core of human psyche is the need for justice. From the time a child first begins cognitive thought he grapples with the concept of fairness. He comes home from school talking about an injustice in the way a teacher disciplines students or he responds to the inequality of how parents deal with siblings.

It may seem to a good mother that she spends half her life refereeing disputes between siblings. The older child must learn that his toddler brother is not old enough to understand that it is wrong to throw food on the floor but "you know better than that." Did she ever envision motherhood to include the job of being a judge?

The concept is developed in the mind of a child that we wait for judgment. One day the younger will observe the same rules as the older. How many times does a parent hear the plaintive wail from a child, "It isn't fair!"? What parent hasn't responded, "Life isn't fair!" But it is! Parents don't intentionally treat children with inequity. Justice must be learned. Judgment day will come for your brother. Not because mom dislikes her children-she is the judicial force in the family to train her young charges.

Here's the downside-what if parents NEVER follow up? What if justice never occurs? What if the teacher does not address the behavior of a bad student? The inevitable sense of disrespect forever clouds the relationship.

Let's return to the Feast of Trumpets. There is no way around the fact that God is our Father-that He is ultimately responsible for justice. The question is, will God deal with evil people? What is God supposed to do with terrorists?

Many people can find a connection to someone who died on 9/11. My brother dated Susan, a lady whose sister worked in the World Trade Center in New York. Her sister was killed when demonic men flew planes into those towers. Susan and I had a long conversation where she revealed the torture she experienced thinking about how the sister she loved died in a fiery furnace. For a period of time Susan could only find solace in alcohol as she spiraled down into depression over such an injustice.

The Feast of Trumpets is a "memorial"-a picture of the time when justice will take place. There will come a time when terrorists will stand before Jesus Christ! If there is no possibility of that, the world God created has no hope of justice.

There was a time when a man was traveling to Sodom when he stopped to visit his friend Abraham who lived along the route. The man is called the Lord, the same being who later came into the world as Jesus Christ. He was going to see first hand if the accounts he had received of Sodom were as evil as had been reported.

Now that is the mark of a righteous judge. He took it upon himself to visit the site to see firsthand. On the way he explained to his friend Abraham the purpose of his mission. Out of fear for the safety of his nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom, Abraham appealed to his visitor.

"Will the righteous be killed with the unrighteous?" was Abraham's concern.

Then Abraham asks a jaw-dropping question. "Will the judge of all the earth not act justly?"(Genesis 18:25 CEV)

Ah, there it is-the issue that lies at the core of the universe. Abraham asked the question the rest of us fear to utter but he was a "friend of God" so he could speak openly.

The Feast of Trumpets is the answer to Abraham's question. It is the day of justice for all of the innocent blood that has been spilled on the earth since the time Cain slew righteous Abel. It represents the time when Our Father will bring protection for those who desire the freedom to worship Him in safety. It is the time when the angels of heaven will rejoice without ceasing.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien