Reading: Psalm 51: 1-4
Do you know where the courthouse is in your town? In our town, it is right in the very center of the business district, a very beautiful building with tall pillars and many steps leading up to the front doors. Sometimes there is much traffic and activity in front of the courthouse, as people bustle in and out with their papers and briefcases… but once you walk inside, there is a reverent quiet, for you are not allowed to speak loudly or cause a scene in a courthouse. Serious business goes on there as different cases are heard, and judges often make decisions that affect people’s entire lives.
Have you ever been inside a courtroom? They are beautiful in an austere way. The judge sits at the front at a high desk. There is a small area in front of him that must be kept clear of obstructions, and no one may trespass this area without permission from the judge. Then there are tables and seating for the parties whom the judge will hear. Behind them is usually a railing; again, this keeps uninvited persons from approaching the judge. The audience may sit behind this railing, although sometimes the judge forbids an audience. In certain trials, there is an area to the side for the jury. These citizens are called on at times to make decisions about the guilt or innocence of a person. However, the judge still presides over the trial.
It is a formidable thing to approach a judge. Imagine approaching a high desk and having to look up, up, up at a person who holds your fate in his or her hand; with one word, your future is decided. You may not speak without the judge’s permission, and every word and action from you is weighed.
The judge knows what you have done. The judge knows the laws of the land and the options for your punishment or release. Wouldn’t you want someone standing next to you who also knows those things – and not only these things, but all the good things you have done as well, your dreams and intentions, and the future good you wish to do? That is why people hire lawyers. Lawyers know how to speak to judges and plead their cases for them.
I have told you this story so that you could understand not just the importance of obeying the laws of your land, but also the importance of obeying your own Judge, the Creator and Heavenly Father, who sits on high and sees every thought and deed of mankind. It is a formidable thing to approach this Judge, but we have a great Comfort – we have a “lawyer,” an Advocate, who can speak to the Judge for us. And not only that, but this Advocate is His very Son, Whom He loves, and who earnestly entreats the Judge for mercy and love on behalf of the little children who need Him so. He wants to be our Brother and Friend, if we would but listen to His words, which give us warning and guidance through life’s many battles and trials. Then we may approach the Judge with confidence, knowing we have One to plead our case for us.
The next time you drive past a courthouse, remember the beauty and the importance of its function, and that we need not fear judgment if we have a Friend beside us.
For Further Study:
Find a Bible that has descriptions before each Psalm (you can search online for a New American Standard or New King James if you don’t have one in your home). What was happening in David’s life when he wrote this Psalm? Read the story of David’s sin in 2 Samuel 11-12.
Read 1 John 2:1-2. Look up the definition for the word “advocate.” What does an advocate do? Do some research into modern-day advocates. Try to find examples of advocates who volunteer their services. Why do they do what they do? What motivates them? What kind of risks do they take? Whom would you be willing to be an advocate for?