Now Playing: Can we discern or judge wisely ?
Choices aren't always easy. We make many somewhat trivial choices such as what kind of food to eat or clothes to wear. This may affect our health, or our perception by our friends or co-workers, but it will likely not do us any spiritual harm. But life often gives us a "fork in the road" where the decisions we come upon have genuine meaning. It is in these places where discernment becomes increasingly important. So how can we understand the mind of God and see what is an appropriate course of action to live our lives in obedience to the scriptures?
Some verses from the Old Testament may prove beneficial. "Then thine handmaid said, 'The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee' " (2 Samuel 14:17). "(v.9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (v.11) And God said unto him, 'Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment. (v.12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.' " (1 Kings 3:9,11-12).
A few more examples include, "Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?" (Job 6:30). "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean" (Ezekiel 44:23). "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not" (Malachi 3:18).
We have similar admonishment in the gospels. "And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. 'O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' " (Matthew 16:3). "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" (Luke 12:56).
The epistles contain more instruction, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). "(v.28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (v.29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (v.30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (v.31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (v.32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:28-32).
The book of Hebrews gives us some very good advice, "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). "For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). May we seek from the Lord discernment to understand His ways and to do His will!