Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

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Lafayette, CO 80026
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August 28 – Judging Rightly

“These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good. Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” Proverbs 24:23-25

Devotional Thought For The Day

Context is everything, especially when it comes to currying a favorable response from others. There are numerous times when we are asked and even expected to “give our blessing” to the evils of others – when we dare not interject a negative judgment, and if we decline to add positive comment we are not to speak negatively but to give at least tacit approval by our silence. Add to this the apparent “hypersensitivity” of so many people today, the ease with which someone may choose to take offense, and all the expectations of “political correctness,” and honest and upright people are frequently placed in very difficult circumstances.

However, context is not just immediate but extends over the course of time. The proverb is assuming this wider context. For example, while the Nazis may have been lauded for a time, not only among the common people of Germany but also by others, history has brought about quite a more honest and proper judgment of their movement. We should remember lessons like this from history – for example, when it comes to the evils of our own time, evils which many people expect us approve – whether explicitly or tacitly [by our silence].  I’m thinking about the casual acceptance of sexually explicit clothing and entertainment – that are now mainstream, and all of the sexual immorality this has brought about.  Worse, I’m thinking about abortion, the so-called “woman’s right to choose.” I’m thinking about divorce – easily justified today as being “reasonable.” What follows all of this is homosexuality, in the process now of becoming socially acceptable, adjudged to be “right.” You might be surprised at the even darker wretchednesses that are waiting in the dark shadowy wings for their turn to become acceptable.

There are whole clusters of other “evils” as well – foul language, taking God’s Name in vain, immoral business practices, selfishness and greed, anger, hatred, malice, and gossip [slander], and even the perversion of God’s Word and the ways of love within “the church.” While the immediate context may press us to silence or even to call what is evil “right,” we must always remember the larger context, that determined by God and taught in His Word – for this is the eternal context, which though it can be obscured for a time, will never change, and which will ultimately prevail upon all human beings. So, though we may be “cursed” for right judgment and our honesty for a time, within a narrow evil context, in the end “those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” The opposite is also true – those who curry favor from the wicked by approving their evils may gain temporary benefit, but in the end they “will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations.”

Thankfully God has provided us with forgiveness and cleansing for all our sins, even those of misjudgment by which we have contributed to the evils of others, and perhaps even engaged in them ourselves. This forgiveness is full and complete – “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” But this also highlights the truly damnable nature of our refusal to judge with righteousness, truthfulness, and open honesty – we are encouraging impenitence and blocking people from turning to God for this forgiveness. We are confirming people in wickedness and helping them to become incorrigible. These are sins that we also need to acknowledge and confess – and to wash away in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Judging “rightly” facilitates and encourages repentance and confession and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, which is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, and so it is certain that those who do so “will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, always You judged rightly, and in many contexts this brought anger, wrath, cursing, rejection, and persecution upon You.  The same consequences have been suffered by Your prophets, servants, and people virtually from the beginning. Grant us wisdom to have proper scope, to see the only context that truly matters, that of eternity and the coming age. Then help us to judge rightly that we too may enter Your eternal delight. Amen.