Judged By Truth
"Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence...'" Deuteronomy 1:16-17 “You shall not show partiality...” One's first sentiment on reading this is that it sounds good. Think about it though - do we judge righteously without partiality? Are we influenced by what we know about the person? If the person is a lowly sinner we've known, how does that influence the way we look at him/her? When the person is famous, doesn't that affect how we judge him/her? When it's someone in the news, an actor or actress, a member of a political party other than the one we subscribe to, doesn't that affect our judgment? What if it's someone we love? Does that make us partial to him/her? We see by the Word of God here that it's very difficult to pass righteous judgment because of the sentiments we hold toward the persons involved. Some will say we are not to judge, but that must be qualified. No, we are not to judge a person because we all have skewed opinions and sentiments toward people. But we are commanded to test issues, and that necessitates judging. “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage... 2 Timothy 4:2 We are commanded to correct and to rebuke. John the Baptist rebuked Herod the king on an issue of immorality. Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, with no respect for leaders, a hater, and most of all un-Christian. Friends, we are told to correct and to rebuke. In cases of discerning whether something is good or evil, and in cases of seeing an obvious evil that needs to be addressed, we are to judge. What we are not to judge is people. When we see something that needs correcting or rebuke we do so, but then we leave the people involved - for the Lord to deal with. We can always know when something is good or evil, because the Word of God determines that. But in the case of the person involved, we leave the person to the Lord. When the Lord comes, he will bring righteous judgment. Scripture tells us he will rule with a rod of iron. He will not be influenced in any way. He will not be partial, he will not consider the status of any person. He will not be bribed or blackmailed. He will not suggest a plea bargain. He will not grant early release for good behavior. No, his judgment will be totally righteous, impartial, and true. "He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off;" Micah 4:3 And this is the way he judges you and me. There will be no self-justification, no blaming someone else for your sin, no partiality because you're "mostly a good person;" his judgment is totally impartial and righteous. It's important to note here that we aren't talking about salvation. Jesus Christ took the penalty for ALL our sin, and that determines our eternal fate. But believers live a life of repentance as the Lord convicts and has them face the truth about themselves little by little and brings them through to repentance, restoration, and health. When we are born again, we surrender our lives to Christ in repentance, but that's only the beginning. From there we grow and each stage of growth will be a deeper repentance as the Lord shows us the giants in our lives that must be conquered if we want to move on with him and come to maturity. No one, having gone through, has ever regretted it because each deliverance brings the repentant one to a new level of joy in the Lord. The Lord will never take you somewhere that he has not already planned out for your success. TRUST him. Let him judge righteously your state, and don't try to influence his judgment with self-justification or by trying to blame someone else for your weakness or sin. When you overcome, you will rejoice and you will enter a new level of freedom and joy you never could have anticipated. TRUST the one who judges righteously, and surrender all to him. Then you will know joy as you never knew it before.