We know that God is the Creator, the King, the Judge, the Shield, the Father, the Savior, and there are still a few other titles we could give him.
But have you ever thought of him as a referee?
If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.
I looked up what a referee does, and according to Wikipedia, a referee:
Enforces applicable activities rules and assess penalties when necessary
Therefore, God as a referee means he knows the rule book, inside and out, which makes sense: after all, he wrote the darn thing! We call it the Torah. And when someone violates those rules, God will make the “call”, throw the red flag, and assess what penalty is to be given.
We see this in action throughout the Bible: 5 yards for offside (Do Not Commit Adultery); 10 yards for illegal receiver (Do Not Have Any Other Gods Before Me); 15 yards for clipping (Do Not Steal); and ejection from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct (Thou Shalt Not Kill).
What is interesting is that when we read of God telling the prophets to review the rules with the people, he always states the punishment as something that the people bring on themselves. Even though God, himself, is causing the punishment, it isn’t really his doing, it is their doing- in other words, these rules which are immutable and eternal, and when you break a rule- whether or not you agree with it- whatever results from that infraction is solely your fault.
Just like when the referee throws the flag and imposes the penalty- he is just following the rules. He doesn’t have the option to decide if he will enforce the rules or not, and he also doesn’t have the option to decide the penalty for that infraction because the rules tell him what he can, and cannot, impose.
And the one who violated the rules is the only one to blame for the penalty.
You are the only one responsible for what happens when you do (or say) something that is in violation of the rules: there is no one else to blame.
Too many people blame society, or their parents, and some even blame God when they suffer for something they did. The old excuse “I couldn’t help it- they made me do it!” doesn’t hold water with anyone.
When the comedian Flip Wilson dressed up as Geraldine and cried, “The Devil made me do it!”, that was funny; but, the truth is that the Devil doesn’t make us do anything. Oh, yes, he certainly creates an environment where we are enticed to sin, but what you do and say is because you do it., and because you say it!
Do you recall what God told Cain? Wasn’t it something about sin crouching at the door, but it was up to Cain, alone, to conquer it?
So, when you screw something up (and we all do, sooner or later), stop looking for someone or something to blame, and bite the bullet. Confess your mistake and (hopefully) you are also sorry you did it (they call that “repentance”, or in Hebrew, T’shuvah).
After confession, repentance, and asking God for forgiveness by means of the shed blood of the Messiah Yeshua, you can start again, clean.
Here’s the hard part: after you square it away with God, go to the one who you sinned against and ask their forgiveness, too.
It doesn’t really matter, on an eternal level, whether or not they forgive you because this is how that works: you have already made yourself right with God so you don’t really need their forgiveness, but they need to forgive you in order for them to be right with God.
Asking forgiveness from someone is hard because we are baring our heart to them, but it is so important for them to have that opportunity to forgive you which makes them right with God.
You might ask, “Why do I need to do that? Shouldn’t they do that themselves?” and you are right- they should forgive you whether or not you ask for it, but when you do ask, it gives them that chance.
Isn’t giving someone the chance to get right with God a way to show love for another as yourself?
Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please agree to the rules so I can let you in).
And remember that I always welcome your comments.
That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!