It is not good to be partial to the wicked
and so deprive the innocent of justice.
Surely we all agree with this proverb, but then, how might we be guilty of such injustice? By placing ourselves before God and others. We will ignore political policies that hurt others but either help us or at least do not harm us. We will avert our eyes when confronted by injustice if what is required of us is sacrifice or inconvenience. When our world is just that – “our” world – then right and wrong get redefined to what makes us feel comfortable or uncomfortable. We are partial to the wicked when we ignore their wickedness. We deprive the righteous of justice when we fail to strive for justice.
And then there are our actions. We are partial to the wicked when we speak like them and hurt others. We deprive the righteous of justice when we fail to speak well of them and encourage them. We must remember that the Judge of all the earth sees our every action (and inaction) and that his standards are far beyond human laws. What we consider trivial, he regards as great offenses or great deeds of kindness; and so much of what we think to be of great magnitude, he finds to be small.
All the more then, let us do the daily difficult work of examining our hearts before the Lord; and let us daily fall on the grace of God in Christ for forgiveness and for the power to live righteously to his glory.
1 Thessalonians 3
So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.
Timothy’s Encouraging Report
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.