February 1, 2021 - Judge Nothing Before the Time

One of the most hopeful texts in the Bible is from Paul: “Therefore, judge nothing before the time until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:5).

What is he saying? Well, in one sense, it’s obvious. Who among us doesn’t cringe with the injustices, the insanity, the evil in this world? Who—even among the most faithful believers in God, who love God, who trust God, who have experienced the love of God in their own lives in astonishing ways— hasn’t just bristled in pain over the evil that goes on, and often unpunished in this life? You would have to have a heart made of granite not to.

And yet what does He say? Basically, Look, you don’t know the details, you don’t know the background, you don’t know the innermost thoughts of others. God does. So, just wait and trust. The day is coming when God will bring to light the hidden things, the dark things, the things that you don’t know—including even the motives, the inner thoughts of others.

Just as others don’t know what’s going on in you, and thus you wouldn’t want to be judged by them—we need to do the same to those around us. What we know is greatly, exponentially, even infinitely less than what we do know, right? Of course.

But what we do know now is that God is, indeed, a God of love, a love revealed most clearly at the cross. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Equal with God; becomes a bondservant; and humbles Himself even to the cross? We, I think, can trust Him as we wait for the day when He “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.”