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[FONT=PT Serif][SIZE=19px]But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. – 2 Chronicles 28:9[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=PT Serif][SIZE=19px]The people of God have gone through terrible times where it seems all hope has been lost. Israel and Judah were divided, and Judah was doing very wickedly in forsaking the worship of the living and true God to worship baal, a false pagan deity of that day. They not only set up churches and sacrifices to this god but even sacrificed their children in fire to appease these false gods. God’s hand of discipline was on them and caused a foreign army to conquer them. But also the people of Israel fought against these their very people killing 120,000 of the people of Judah. Not only that but Israel took back 200,000 wife’s, sons and daughters to their land with spoils from the war. What a tragic time of hurt for the very people of God, civil war, division, confusion, idol worship and great devastation. In the midst of this situation God raises up the prophet Oded to speak to the people of Israel. His message was simple, yes God was angry with Judah over their evil practices and is judging them, but your killing them and your making them slaves is wrong also. Be careful he was warning or God will become angry with you also. And he speaks this phrase that hits home: “But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God?” (2 Chronicles 28:10). It is very easy to see the sins of others, to judge them and even take action against them. We can treat people who are our very brothers and sisters in the Lord badly, accusing them and causing them great hurt. God was speaking through his very prophet who heard his words that this action they made was not condoned by him, God’s people should not be the method of God’s judgment in most cases on others of God’s people. We see the pattern that God himself raises up circumstances, and pagan armies to bring discipline to his people.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=PT Serif][SIZE=19px]Paul the Apostle in his letter to the believers in Rome says the same thing to us: “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” (Romans 14:10). We are never called of God to treat other brothers and sisters with contempt, having disgust and disapproval over one’s failing and weakness. Such thinking is never right because God will measure the same contempt back to us from his holy standard of perfect. We should never measure ourselves with ourselves but with God himself. Though Judah was in great apostasy and failing, Israel should have prayed and sought God for their repentance and change. When we take matters in our own hands, judge and kill each other with words, slander and gossip, we end up doing great hurt to ourselves and possibly incur God’s judgment on ourselves. When we listen to the words of prophet Oded, we should seek to judge ourselves and not others and to look at our own failings and not the failings of others. We all are seeking to follow the Lord in this journey and the last thing we need to do is to put stumbling blocks and obstacles in each others way (Romans 14:13). Paul in the Church was speaking of differences of opinion over worship holy days and Christian liberty. God’s judgment will come on those that it has to. Let us not wish it on anyone and not seek to bring it ourselves.

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