Judging and being judged by God

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Local Columnist

Many years ago a friend shared with me a little story by Wyatt Kirk. In these days  before Christmas, I think it’s particularly appropriate.

“The story is told of the time when all nations and peoples are gathered before God in judgment. A growing undercurrent of accusations against God Himself develops before His throne. Jews question Him as to where He was while they experienced persecution and the gas chambers of the Nazis. The poor blamed Him for unconcern as to their plight. Those who had been unjustly tried and those who had been maltreated charged Him with a neglect of care. Blacks who had known slavery turned against Him for not intervening with their masters. Refugees without homes faulted God because they had no place to go. The friendless objected because God did not back them when the world turned against them. Some who had known pain and suffering considered God as unfeeling as He sat in His ivory tower apparently immune to their hurts. All complained that God should be punished for His crimes against them.

“They determined that God should have to sit where they had sat and walk where they had walked, experiencing what they had experienced. His punishment . . . He should be born a Jew and poor with questions as to legitimacy of birth. He must grow up to be without a home, experience rejection, become a servant, know maltreatment, be falsely accused, suffer agony of flesh and anguish of spirit, be unjustly tried and condemned, have His friends turn their backs on Him, and then He should die alone.

“Suddenly, in their reflection as to the sentence, they stopped murmuring. All knew that God had been where they had been and suffered what they had suffered. Immanuel (God with us) indeed had walked where they had walked and sat where they had sat. So, man’s judgment of God ended and God began His righteous judgment of man.

“In His judgment those who have experienced Christ in them, the hope of Glory, shall sit where He now sits and walk where He now walks. As heaven once came to earth, so now we of earth shall be enabled to go to heaven.”

I like the story.

You see, because God has walked with us on this earth, no one can accuse God of leaving us in the dark. As the Apostle John writes of Christ’s coming, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the  world” (John 1:10).

Since God has lived on this little globe, no one can accuse God of not understanding our plight. As the writer to the Hebrews puts it: “Since [God’s] children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity . . .” (2:14).

Since God loved us so much that he sent his own Son into this world (John 3:16), no one can accuse God of not caring.

We can be very sure: He cares for us this Christmas.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at