Whoever approves of wicked people
and whoever condemns righteous people is disgusting to the Lord.
To punish an innocent person is not good.
To strike down noble people is not right. (Proverbs 17:15, 26 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 17:15-28 GW)
Polarization is the current buzzword used to describe the toxic political and social environment of America. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground based on the loud rhetoric that shouts down any differing opinions.
Even a sense of what is right and wrong is in question. Truth and justice have become relative terms dependent on personal persuasions and feelings.
This is how it appears on the surface but I don’t believe it’s accurate. The north and south poles are at opposite ends of the earth but small in comparison to the world in between.
When the focus on a certain issue or concern emphasizes an extreme perspective, it comes at the cost of the truth. Focus on two opposite extremes obscures the truth which exists somewhere in between the extreme positions.
If this becomes the norm rather than the exception to the rule, truth and justice are set aside and replaced with a distortion of what’s true and just.
Then, those who are guilty and corrupt are tolerated while those who are innocent and righteous are ignored or crushed and oppressed.
This disgusts the Lord and it ought to do the same for those of us who trust in Him.
Cultural shifts take place frequently. A wind of new wisdom and insight blows in and people get swept up and away with whatever the popular current may be. This is not new. History reminds us of this if we pay attention to it.
But, when the cultural current flips our moral standards upside down and ethics are mocked—the people of God must take action.
“What can we do about it,” you might ask?
We need to stand firm in what we know to be right and true and good. This is a continuing message in Proverbs (Prov 1:1-7). This is what the Lord expects of those who trust in Him.
Does it sound too simplistic, even weak? It isn’t.
Try standing in a swift-moving stream while standing on a rocky and sandy riverbed. You’ll find it’s not so easy.
How about standing in the ocean in knee-deep water where the waves break near the shore with the back and forth movement of the tide? If you’re not careful, it will knock you down and pull you out into deeper water and stronger waves.
Stand firm in what is right and true and just. Stand up for the innocent and oppressed. Move beyond ideology and rhetoric when confronted with a distortion of truth and justice.
As it says in the book of Romans—
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. (Rom 12:21 GW)
This is difficult to do in many real-life circumstances but God will honor it. The more you and I stand firm, the stronger we become.
We need to stand firm in what we know to be right and true and good. The Lord expects all people who trust in Him to do this. Let’s move beyond ideology and rhetoric when confronted with a distortion of truth and justice.
Pray for God to make the truth of His written word more clear to you, especially when He speaks of how we are to live and act as His living representatives in this world. Ask for discernment, discretion, and wisdom for how to stand firm for what is good, true, right, and just.
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