“He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge— the Lord—knows the thoughts of man.”
“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice;..
for [the Lord] comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”
“He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.”
“The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned… exalted over all the peoples.
The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice and righteousness.
Holy is he!” Psalm 94:9-11; 96:11,13; 97:2; 98:9; 99:1-2,4-5
Assigning motive is a dangerous practice. We set our correctness radar and hand out tickets for reactions and behavior like those with authority to condemn. We base our assumptions on personal worldview, or limited perception of a situation, or a narrative imposed on us that may or may not be so. But do we know every fact? Can we see with no filter? Are we able to discern someone else’s intentions? Omniscient God is the only One who knows the human heart and the whole truth, and understands why people do what we do. (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:11￼￼)
In this world, we see in a mirror dimly. It is difficult enough to understand ourselves- why we despair, what stokes our impulses, why we are enraptured by certain beauties, why some people and situations attract us more than others. Even with His Spirit, we know God with limited understanding, though we crave and strive to know Him better. What would make us think that we can comprehend the inner workings of another person?
We look at the outside of a person or situation, yet only God sees and judges righteously by the heart. We seem to be certain how others feel and why they act out, yet bristle when someone falsely assigns an attitude or motive to us. We assess, surmise, determine, and blame, yet very quickly defend ourselves when accused by another, proving it is easier to play judge than to be judged.￼￼ (1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 7:1-2)
What would change if we met others at the foot of the cross, the great equalizer, where dripped Jesus’s cleansing blood for every sinner? How would we perceive and treat one another differently if all labels– victim, privileged, left-wing, right-wing, inexperienced, enlightened, oppressed, elite– were set aside, except that of ‘image-bearer’?
Would I, when observing￼ behavior that wrenches my heart, bow down and worship the omniscient Lord and Judge of all, ascribing to Him the glory due His name? Would I set aside pontificating and assigning camps to the people created in His image, and instead exalt Him?￼
Will we look with hope to the time when “Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together”? (Isaiah 40:4-5)
Exalted Lord, I trust Your judgments. Search me, know my heart, and cleanse from any grievous way. Lead me to live and communicate with Your righteousness, purity, and equity. (Psalm 98:9; 139:23-24)