Psalms 37:12-15 ESV
“The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
“The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.”
So, today I was on Facebook, which is a social media internet site, and on Facebook there are lots of advertisements you might have to scroll through just to find posts by your friends (or acquaintances, i.e. people you know). So today I kept getting ads for a play starring Richard Thomas (John boy from the Waltons TV show). And the name of the play is, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Now I saw a movie by that title many years ago, dated 1962, starring Gregory Peck, I believe. But I don’t recall it very well.
But also today I was getting advertisements for another movie I had seen many years ago (I stopped watching movies in 2008, but I did watch this one again today). And this one is called “Twelve Angry Men” (1957). This one is about a teenage boy accused of murdering his father and it is about a twelve man jury deciding guilt or innocence. Only one man thought there was reasonable doubt to convict the boy, so the whole movie was about him eventually convincing the other 11 jurors to vote not guilty.
But during the jurors’ deliberations, what came out was a lot of prejudice against people of different color and nationality and language and culture, etc. And some people were voting strictly because of that prejudice, and some just voted out of pure selfishness and/or intellectual snobbery, and some were making decisions based on their own emotions and hurts, etc. So there were a lot of emotions flying high. But what this did was really show the reality of how bad prejudice is, for it could have meant this boy’s death.
Now I read the plot summary of “To Kill a Mockingbird” because I did not remember that movie very well, but that is another movie about prejudice and about making false judgments of people based on the color of their skin or whatever, and all the hate that goes along with that. Well, the lawyer was able to prove that the people accusing a man of a crime had lied about what had happened, yet the court charged the man guilty anyway, probably because of his color, and that eventually resulted in that man’s death.
So, in one case, it resulted in the probable innocent going free, because the prosecution had not proved its case sufficiently, and because the supposed evidence was full of holes. But in the other case it resulted in the probable innocent being charged with the crime anyway, even though it had been proven that his accusers had lied. And it still resulted in his imprisonment and ultimate death. But both movies definitely showed how bad prejudice is regardless of who it is aimed at, and the hatred that is behind it all.
Well the same happens to those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives, who are walking in the ways of the Lord, although not necessarily in absolute perfection. But still they are not guilty of sinning against the Lord or against anyone else, not intentionally or habitually. And yet there will be those who hate the righteous just because they are living holy lives separate (unlike, different) from the world and because they are speaking the truth of the gospel and because they are calling out and are refuting Satan’s lies.
And they will hate the righteous because their own deeds are evil and the righteous’ deeds are good, in practice. And so they may plot evil against them in order to cause them harm or to have them falsely accused of crimes they did not commit, and to falsely imprison them, and even to kill them, like Cain killed his brother. And they may or may not get away with it in this life, and the innocent may be acquitted of the false accusations, or not, and the innocent may be put in jail or even killed for not doing what is wrong.
But the wicked will have their day in God’s court, and they will be accused by God, and he will charge them as guilty, and they will pay by spending eternity in hell and not in heaven unless they truly repent and turn to follow Jesus in obedience. But even if they do repent, God may still allow them to suffer in this life for the evil they did to his servants and messengers. But that is up to God, not up to us, regarding what happens to the guilty (the wicked), and even what happens to the innocent.
Anyway, prejudice in all its forms is a horrible thing. We should never hate anyone, and we should not hate other people just because they are not like us. Yet, this is not teaching that we are to be tolerant of sinful practices and lifestyles, but we can still love people and not love their sin. And the loving thing really is to speak the truth in love to others to let them know that if we hate others, and if we plot and carry out evil against others, but while we profess faith in Jesus Christ, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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