(Prov 24:23-26 CEV) Here are some more sayings that make good sense: When you judge, you must be fair. If you let the guilty go free, people of all nations will hate and curse you. But if you punish the guilty, things will go well for you, and you will prosper.
This morning we continue our series, “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God.” As I have explained to you before, the book of Proverbs is broken up into several books. About two months ago we started through the third book, which is actually comprised of two sections. The first section contained 30 sayings (from 22:17 to 24:22) and we finished that section last Friday. This week we will study through the second section which only contains the following four sayings:
Saying 1. Descriptions of Partiality in Law (24:23-26)
Saying 2. Admonition on Priorities (24:27)
Saying 3. Admonition on Witnessing Against a Neighbor (24:28-29)
Saying 4. Reflection and Description of Laziness (24:30-34)
In this passage Solomon goes back to a recurring theme (see 17:15,23,26, 18:5, 24:23, 28:21) of his writings: not showing partiality in judgment. I believe Solomon was so hard on this because corruption was a problem in his time; as it is today. The practice of using money, influence, personal connections, and coercion (violent or otherwise) to exonerate the guilty has been going on for thousands of years. Ever since there have been judges and trials there have been attempts to corrupt the legal process. Centuries before the birth of Christ Solomon knew that many rich and influential people thought they were above the law, while the poor were often left powerless, even when they were clearly right. To deny the innocent of justice or to acquit the clearly guilty are both equally despicable to God. Theologian Matthew Henry said this type of behavior is “An offence to God, an affront to justice, a wrong to mankind, and a real service done to the kingdom of sin and satan.”
So what does this mean to you today? It means that as a believer you ought not be ashamed to call right “right” and wrong “wrong” and to support those who do. Don’t accept the “anything goes” mentality that has infiltrated our society. Our God is a just God. He expects justice and truth to prevail. But justice and truth can’t prevail if we allow the standards of righteousness to be lowered, the lines of truth to be crossed, and the towers of justice to be torn down. Follow your Godly conscience (the Holy Spirit), stand for what is right and don’t make excuses for it. In a society where people are seemingly accepting anything, it may not be common to find people who have strong values, beliefs, and standards, but the Father needs you to be one of them. As you take a stand for what you believe in you will shine as light in the midst of darkness and the Father will use you to draw others back to Him.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for Your Word, Your truth, and Your standard. Your standard is the standard I live by. I take a stand for righteousness today, and every day! I refuse to allow anyone to force me to compromise what I know is right and I thank You for the leading of the Holy Spirit. As You lead me, by Your Spirit, to do what is right, I declare that I will, no matter the opposition and no matter the cost. I am determined to stand for what is right and I am prepared to face ridicule if I have to. I would rather be right with my God and wrong with man, than right with man and wrong with my God! I speak this faith and I thank You Father, in advance, for helping me to operate in the courage required to bring it to pass. In Jesus’ name. Amen!