Friday, August 12, 2016

What sort of a judge are you?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 82:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "How long will you judge unjustly
And show partiality to the wicked?' - Psalm 82:2

Frustration with the justice system is nothing new. Here psalm writer Asaph pours out to God his feelings about corrupt judges.

Now I know that not many of us are actual judges but nevertheless we do make judgments of people and situations and then base our actions on those judgments.

Two words that come up often in Bible references about judging are 'partial' and 'partiality.'

Partial (adj.) means 1] only a part; 2] favouring one side; prejudiced, biased; 3] having a special liking.
Partiality (n.) is the state of being partial, unfair, having a particular fondness for.

In references to us judging each other, more than one Bible writer puts his finger on the types of situations that tempt us to partiality. We are tempted to be partial:
  • when we have dealings with the less powerful (such as the weak, alien, employee/slave, poor, orphan, and widow). In these situations the Bible tells us we are not to take advantage of our power - Deuteronomy 24:17/ Ezekiel 47:22; Proverbs 31:4,5; Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:9.
  • when offered a bribe to judge in someone's favour. Don't take that bribe, Moses tells us in Deuteronomy 16:19.
  • when our government demands our respect, honour and especially our taxes. Pay up Paul tells us in  Romans 13:7.
  • when faced with differences of race, position and appearance:
- In regard to race, we are all the same in God's eyes. God accepts Jews and Gentiles, Peter discovered (Acts 10:34, 35). We are all the same in God's eye - Romans 10:2.
- When it comes to rulers and people in authority, even though we are to respect and obey them, we need to remember that they too are just people in God's eyes - Job 34:18,19.
- The wicked, though powerful are not to get our special favour - Psalm 82:2; Galatians 2:6.
- When we're with other Christians  we're to guard against judging by appearance and giving special treatment to those who look like they have wealth or status - James 2:1-9
Whatever our judgmental weaknesses, our model and goal is clear: "…there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11) and there should be none with us.

PRAYER: Dear God, please reveal to me my partiality tendencies. Help me to be unbiased and fair in my dealings with everyone. Amen.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.

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