Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series
Sermon Illustrations

JUDGMENT FOR YAWNING: IS GOD FAIR?

It’s a given that some judges in the American legal system are more severe than others. But Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak-—from Will County, Illinois—-may be the only federal judge who has sentenced a man to prison because of a yawn.

That’s right. In August of 2009, Clifton Williams was attending the hearing of his cousin in a Joliet courtroom. His cousin pled guilty to a felony drug charge, and when Judge Rozak delivered a sentence of two years probation, Mr. Williams let loose the incriminating yawn.

Judge Rozak noticed, later describing the incident by saying that Williams "raised his hands while at the same time making a loud yawning sound." The judge decided that this was a disrespectful interruption of the court, and sentenced Williams to six months in jail-—the maximum penalty for contempt of court without a jury trial.

This isn’t the first time that Judge Rozak has flexed his judicial muscles. A Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that Rozak has charged several court spectators with contempt when their cell phones rang in the middle of a session. In fact, with 30 judges operating in his Judicial Circuit, Judge Rozak has brought more than a third of all the contempt charges filed in the past 10 years.

People like Daniel Rozak are the reason why some people cringe when they hear God described as a Judge. They wonder, Will God judge me with fairness?

(Sam O’Neal, Geneva, Illinois; source: Matt Bartosik, "Shut Yer Mouth: Man Gets Six Months for Yawning," nbcnewyork.com (8-11-2009))

From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, Singing a Song of Wonder, 1/21/2010

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

  • Habakkuk, America, And The Middle East

    Contributed by Jack Martin on Aug 4, 2014
    based on 5 ratings
     | 11,792 views

    Was this prophecy of old searching forward to our day. Are we about to see Gods Word brought to bear both in America and in the Middle East.

  • The Way Down

    Contributed by Tom Fuller on Jul 3, 2007
    based on 7 ratings
     | 8,077 views

    In one of the saddest chapters of the Bible, Israel first neglects, then abandons their relationship with Yahweh. Through it all, though He remains faithful to them and stands ready to help when they cry out, just like with us.

  • God Is Our Rescuer Series

    Contributed by Brian Bill on May 23, 2015
    based on 1 rating
     | 6,040 views

    God will not spare unrepentant sinners but will rescue the righteous.

  • Nahum: Where Do You Stand With The Lord? Series

    Contributed by Sterling Franklin on Apr 10, 2011
    based on 4 ratings
     | 4,207 views

    We see various aspects of the LORD from Nahum -- POWERFUL, a Refuge for the righteous, and Wrathful on the wicked. Let us flee from the Avenging Wrath at hand and take on the LORD as our Stronghold through trusting in His Son's Sacrifice for us!

  • When God Winked

    Contributed by John Gaston on May 27, 2014
    based on 2 ratings
     | 3,937 views

    We’re going to look at an instance of GOD WINKING. We’re going to hear some wrong ideas of what that means, what it really meant, and why it’s important for us today.