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You be the judge

Your team is three points behind at the bottom of the fourth quarter against its bitterest rival. It’s fourth and goal, and your quarterback has the ball. All of a sudden, whistles blow and flags fly. The foul on your team’s tight end? “Unnecessary roughness.” You yell and pound your fist; because of the foul, they missed their chance.

They were so could they have thrown it away by letting a rivalry become personal?

In 2 Chronicles 28, Israel inflicts unnecessary roughness on Judah. These two nations had a long history of conflict, though they were distantly related and were both considered to be the people of God.

When the people of Judah start worshipping idols—even killing their children to sacrifice them to pagan gods—God allows Israel to defeat Judah in battle to humble them. Yet, Israel “slaughtered [Judah] in a rage that reaches to heaven,” killing thousands of soldiers, plundering them and making their families slaves. (2 Chronicles 28:9)

How do we deal with people who are in pain because of their sin, even if we secretly think they deserve it? Do we judge them further like the people of Israel did, or do we show mercy like the chiefs and princes? They realized the people of Judah were devastated, and met their needs as much as they could. (2 Chronicles 28:14-15)

Think of someone you believe deserves judgment, but is already in pain. Then think of Jesus. Jesus took the sins of the whole world on Himself. (Isaiah 53:6) Jesus was broken on the cross by sin, so He identifies most with those who are broken by sin. Remember Him in the way you treat hurting people.


  • Who is one person you wish God would punish? Ask yourself honestly: If you saw this person in need, would you help him or her? If not, remember that God is the Ultimate Judge (Romans 14:10); pray for Him to change your heart.
  • What is one thing you can do today to help someone who is in pain, whether for someone you know or not?

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