One of the great displays of Yahuweh’s Plan can be seen in His judgments. For centuries we have been blind, but now our Abba is giving us fresh insight into His judgments, and He is revealing the Grace He gives us to walk in His judgments. Let’s see what His judgments are.
Scriptures tell us that Judgment is prepared for the scorners. That is, Yahuweh’s judgment will come to those whose life practice is to scorn the things of Yahuweh:
“Judgments<08201> are prepared for scorners. . .” (Proverbs 19:29a)
According to Strong’s Concordance, a scorner is one who mocks, derides, or speaks arrogantly against something. The scorner in this passage is one who mocks or speaks against the things of Yahuweh.
But who are these scorners? Who is it that scorns the things of Yahuweh? And how can I tell whether I am among the scorners? The Proverb tells us here:
“An ungodly witness scorneth judgment<04941>. . .” (Proverbs 19:28a)
Together, we see clearly those who scorn Yahuweh’s ‘judgment’ will receive His ‘judgments’.
But what are Yahuweh’s judgments? When two different Hebrew words are translated into one and the same English word, the meaning is not obvious. Lets see what the Hebrew words tell us about Yahuweh’s judgments.
In the above passages, we see Yahuweh’s ‘judgments’<08201> will come to those who scorn His ‘judgment’<04941>. Let us then look at the two different Hebrew words, where we can see the difference between the two.
First, we are told that ‘judgments’ <08201> are prepared for scorners. This is the Hebrew word shephet, Strong’s number <08201>, meaning “judgment; an act of judgment.” This word comes from the root verb shaphat meaning “to judge, to vindicate, bring judgment, avenge, condemn, punish.”
Next, we are told that an ungodly witness scorneth ‘judgment’ <04941>. The word used here is the Hebrew word mishpat, Strong’s number <04941>, meaning “ordinances, lawful manner, upright customs, Right-rulings; right, proper, fitting, fashion or plan” established by Yahuweh, in accordance with which man shall live. Here are a few passages that call upon Believers to keep Father’s judgments:
“Ye shall do my judgments<04941>, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 18:4)
“Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments<04941>, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.” (Leviticus 25:18)
“And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments<04941> which I set before you this day.” (Deuteronomy 11:32)
The Hebrew word ‘mishpat’ <04941> comes from the root verb ‘shaphat,’ and reveals the right manner of life that has been appointed and ordained by Yahuweh, through His Word [the Judge] spoken by Yahushua (John 12:48).
It is interesting to note this Hebrew word mishpat has a corresponding Greek word having the same meaning. The Hebrew word meaning “ordinances, lawful manner, upright customs, Right-rulings, right, proper, fitting, fashion or plan” established by Yahuweh, corresponds to the meaning of the Greek word for ‘ordinance’ as used in Rom 13:2:
“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance<1296> of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (Romans 13:2)
The word for ‘ordinance’ used here is the Greek word diatage <1296>, “ordinance disposition, arrangement,” and derives from the Greek word ‘diatasso,’ Strong’s number <1299>, and means “to arrange, appoint, ordain, give order, prescribe.”
We are then told that those who resist God’s ordinance will receive ‘damnation,’ which is the Greek word ‘krima’ <2917> meaning “a decree of judgment.” Paul is telling us those who resist God’s ordinance will receive judgment.
From this we can see in the clear wording in Rom 13:2 above, as well as in context, that this refers to the ‘ordinance of God,’ that is, ordinances prescribed and appointed by Yahuweh, of which Paul gives hint, in his use of the word <3862> as seen in (1Cor 11:2, Gal 1:14, 2Thess 2:15, and 2Thess 3:6).
In all these passages, the apostle Paul exhorts us to continue to embrace, and to walk in, the traditions—the ordinances of Scripture, as passed on to them by Yahushua and all His disciples.
Ordinances of Yahuweh vs Doctrines of Men
A vivid contrast can be seen, however, as a very different Greek word is also translated into the identical English word ‘ordinance’ in the New Testament writings. This is the Greek word ‘dogma,’ used six times in Scripture, and in all cases refer to the doctrines or decrees of men:
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree<1378> from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” (Luke 2:1)
“And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees<1378> for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.” (Acts 16:4)
“Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees<1378> of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.” (Acts 17:7)
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances<1378>; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Ephesians 2:14-16)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances<1378> that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Colossians 2:13-14)
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances<1379>, 21 [Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;] after [according to] the commandments and doctrines of men?” (Colossians 2:20-22)
Here we see the ordinances or dogmas of men, which are not the ordinances of Yahuweh. Notice that some of the ordinances of men are good, if they confirm the Truth of walking according to Yahuweh’s Word, as above in Acts 16:4.
In most cases, however, these dogmas stand contrary to Yahuweh’s Word, as seen in Acts 17:7. They also promote separation and condemnation, and are against Yahuweh’s people, when referring to the oral Traditions of the elders. Note that these are not the commandments of God, but merely the doctrines and commandments of men, as seen in the above Ephesians and Colossians passages.
Because the Greek word dogma has been translated alternately as ‘ordinance’ as well as ‘decree,’ it has bred confusion in countless precious evangelical Believers, and has led many astray, simply because many had not the resources to dig a little deeper.
So we see the apostle Paul confirms the Proverb for us. We conclude it is only as men live and walk according to the judgments [mishpatim] of Yahuweh, that they avoid the judgment [shephet] that has been pronounced by the Judge [shaphat].
But where does Grace enter in to the picture? Let’s look at this.
Purpose and Goal of Grace
We recall that it is only by Grace that men are able to live and walk in obedience to these judgments of Yahuweh. But let’s look momentarily beyond the provision, and look at the purpose and goal of Grace, as revealed in Scripture:
“By whom we have received grace . . . for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” (Romans 1:5)
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1Peter 1:2)
Here Paul gives us one Scripture that reveals the purpose Grace is given to us, and Peter tells us another showing the goal of our sanctification [our separation unto Him]. Notice they are identical, and both have obedience as the end result!
Yahuweh’s Grace toward us, as well as our separation unto Yahuweh, are for the purpose of obedience to The Faith—obedience to the doing of Yahuweh’s judgments! Again, our obedience is the very purpose for the Grace Yahushua gives us, as He lives and walks in us day-by-day.
It is here that we must keep one important fact in mind. We recall that all of Yahuweh’s judgments [mishpatim, Strong’s number <04941>] pertain to Yahuweh’s Everlasting Covenant, which is also called the New Covenant:
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
“He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:” (Psalms 105:8-10)
The Book of Hebrews tells us the blood of Yahushua is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant. The passages in Psalms tell us the same covenant that was made with Abraham, was confirmed for a Law, and also for an Everlasting Covenant between Yahuweh and His people, including Gentiles grafted-in by Messiah.
If we have been grafted-in to the New and Everlasting Covenant by faith in Yahushua, then we have now become part of the Tree of the commonwealth of Israel; we are thus held accountable for walking in the provisions of the Everlasting Covenant!
But how is our eternal condition affected by our keeping Yahuweh’s judgments, His ordinances, His prescribed order? Let’s see what the Scriptures tell us about this, and about choosing our inheritance.
There is an obscure man seen in Scripture, whose life has become a prophetic message for us today.
Kemuel, whose name means “arisen, established or accomplished by God,” was an Ephraimite, chosen by Moses to be the leader of the tribe of Ephraim, who was to divide the promised land [prophetically the ‘inheritance’] among the tribes of Israel (Numbers 34:18, 24).
Kemuel was the son of Shiphtan, whose name is derived from the Hebrew word shaphat meaning ‘judge’ or ‘judgment.’ ‘Thus we see that Kemuel was the ‘Son of Judgment,’ reminding us of 1Corinthians 11:31: “If we would judge ourselves [now], we should not be judged [later].”
It was the ‘Son of Judgment’ who was selected to apportion the Promised Land—the inheritance. In like manner, it will be the future ‘Sons of Judgment’ who will be selected to apportion the inheritance.
The ‘Tribe of Ephraim’ speaks prophetically of those Gentile Believers who would be grafted-in to Israel, by faith in Messiah.
Taken together, we see a prophetic message—that the coming judgment <08201> of the Believers pertains to the inheritance, in accordance with how we judge ourselves today—that is, how we walk in judgment <04941>.
A Prophetic Confirmation
A prophetic confirmation is given to us by Shephatiah, the 5th son of David, whose Hebrew name Sh@phatyah or Sh@phatyahuw occurs 13 times in scripture, and means “Yahuweh has judged.”
From the prophetic meaning of the numbers ‘5’ and ’13,’ we see a confirming Bride characteristic in the name, telling us that the Bride Company will be made up of those who allow Yahuweh to judge them now, day-by-day, as they undergo their preparation.
The Proverb thus becomes clear. Yahuweh’s judgments are His Holy Ordinances, lawful manner, upright customs, and Right-rulings—the plan He has established for His people. Those who scorn Yahuweh’s judgments will receive the judgment prepared for the scoffers and scorners.
On the other hand, those who, by His Grace, choose to walk in judgment today, will not be judged later; but instead will be chosen to participate in the apportioning of the inheritance!
The Judgments of Yahuweh are for the purpose of allowing a separation to occur, between one small company of Believers, from the greater company. The Judgments of Yahuweh are thus for the Bride Company to seek out, and to find and do them.
These are those of the Bride Company, who do not scorn Yahuweh’s Holy Ordinances, lawful manner, upright customs, and Right-rulings, but who embrace them, and walk in them.
Are we currently among the Bride Company? Or are we among those who scorn His judgments—His ordinances?
Let us all ask Abba for the heart to repent, and to change our mind. Let us then be converted—that is, let us turn around, and change our direction. Let us walk in the same direction that Yahushua-living-in-us desires to walk. Let us be able to say, as King David did:
“I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.” (Psalms 119:106)
Let us therefore judge ourselves now.
Let us seek out, and walk in accordance with, Yahuweh’s judgments!