Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
The Royal Law (Part 2)
But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
James 2:9 (NKJV)
'My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, 'You sit here in a good place,' and say to the poor man, 'You stand there...' '
James 2:1-3 (NKJV)
From Genesis through Revelation, favoritism is denounced by the 'God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe' (Deuteronomy 10:17).
Job is on the right track when he pleads with God: 'Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone; nor let me flatter any man' (Job 32:21).
But Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham, gets off track in preferring one son (Esau) above the other (Jacob); 'Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game' (Genesis 25:28). The result? Jealousy, scheming, and betrayal that brought years of grief and separation to this royal family.
Why would the commandment not to show favoritism be elevated by God to a royal law? Isn't it a small and familiar sin? Familiar? Yes. Small? No. Maybe because partiality is a sin of pride in which we try to elevate ourselves to a judgment level with God.
'Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?' (James 2:4). After all, 'There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?' (James 4:12).
Peter, a rule-following Jew who believed salvation was only for the Jews, received correction from God in a dream: 'Then Peter opened his mouth and said: 'In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality' ' (Acts 10:34).
Actors, models, and talent for Christ must show God's royal law of impartiality. While Hollywood insiders consider themselves to be without prejudice by embracing cultural diversity, their professional behavior reveals bias.
Traveling to Africa to adopt orphans while ignoring poor fans at home is partiality. Preferring the benefits of fame while forgetting the responsibilities of leadership is partiality. Embracing a lustfully 'free' lifestyle while tempting children toward bondage is partiality. Partiality is wrong judgment that causes harm to others.
God's stars raise a new standard of service and leadership; their only partiality is preference of the One Eternal King over a variety of temporary kings. Their royal reward?
'You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God' (Isaiah 62:3).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Royal Law series.