Judgment is defined as “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions” and “a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.” According to the above Proverb the land is established by “judgment.” The land is overthrown by gifts — bribes.
We don’t have a King. Our land must be established by the exercise of judgment by many individuals and institutions. We are a constitutional republic. Influences on judgment come from many directions, both inside and outside of government. We maintain laws and rules against bribery.
The land must be established. We don’t want it overthrown by corruption, through bribery.
We all must make judgments every single day. None of us can acquire infinite knowledge for the purpose of making considered decisions and coming to sensible conclusions. We all proceed through life making the best decisions we can with the limited knowledge available to our bounded minds. We also have a duty to enforce discipline —punish wrongdoing. Parents never stop doing this if they are good and loving parents.
It is always easier to take the bribe … to receive the gift. Only a determined and nurtured moral sense can overcome the temptation of a bribe.
It appears that America’s religious consensus has devolved into a bribe and that God is indeed dead, as the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared. Appearances, however, can be deceptive. Politics and economics do not define a nation. Religion has much to contribute.
America’s religion is Christianity. It continues to nurture the moral sense of the West. Money does not value all things. The best things in life are indeed free. And those best things have little to do with Google’s “free” system of the world. One can pursue the good, the true and the beautiful without money. Our debt-based monetary system is the most toxic bribe we’ve accepted. And Christianity condemns interest on loans.
Our land will be established as we exercise judgment instead of receive gifts. We will replace the debt-based global monetary system with a more sensible economic model. If we don’t then our land will be overthrown. The Proverb is correct. We will repent of our lazy habit of receiving from the future the bribe of debt or we will be judged. Either we choose to exercise good judgment ourselves or someone else — God perhaps — will.
The most intoxicating and diverting bribe is sex. The idea that all sex is good sex as long as it is consensual doesn’t just cloud our judgment, it robs us of the power to make judgments. This choice always ends with divine judgment.
Listen to Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Christians in Rome, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, … Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie.”
He continues, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
We are drunk on the perception of ourselves as wise. We cannot see how foolish we have become. Our choice of bribes over judgment created this hate-filled chaos. The path forward with faith, hope and love requires judgment.
We can begin by practicing daily repentance for our sins. The foundation of sound judgment is humility — realizing how imperfect we are, and seeking from Jesus Christ the forgiveness that can come only from Him.
I’ll close with this observation by Thomas Carlyle, “Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice; but only accident here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death.”