Deuteronomy 1:17 NKJV You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’
I remember hearing somewhere while I was a young man growing up in Terre Haute, Indiana, “It’s never right to do what’s wrong. But it is never wrong to do what is right.” Or was it, “It’s never wrong to do what is right. And it’s never right to do what’s wrong.” Hmmm… I’ve used it both ways over the years and regardless of how you say it, the sentiment is the same. Yet there are times, where we are afraid of how others will view us or what they will say to us or about us if we boldly step up and do what is right.
In this Scripture, Moses was instructing leaders among the various tribes of Israel, whom were chosen by the people, about how they would handle disputes and situations that would arise. Moses gave them authority to make decisions and to choose justly in matters that came up in the everyday lives of those around them. He made them representatives of himself, but ultimately of God telling them, “…you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s.” The KJV records it as, “…ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s.”
He told them not to fear the face of man. Don’t fear or be moved by their disapproving or opinionated looks. Don’t be moved by their pleading eyes beckoning you to consent to or even join their folly. Don’t be afraid of what they might do to you or say to you or about you. Fear not, the judgment is God’s. Moses was telling them that they should not and could not allow fear to sway their decisions, for they were standing in positions as representatives of the very nature and character of God.
Well, that principle hasn’t changed. In fact, it has been magnified. If you’ve called on the Name of Jesus and been born again, then thru Christ you are an ambassador of God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20). By His amazing grace and mercy He has exchanged our worthless rags giving us Himself as a covering (Romans 13:14) and adopted us into the family of God (Romans 8:15). Now, as His representatives and ambassadors to the world, we have opportunities each day to stand firm in our Holy Spirit inspired, Bible derived convictions and simply do the right thing on God’s behalf.
Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to determine the right thing to do. When it is, buck up, stand up, and put up. Don’t fear what others may do or say, please the Lord God and serve as an example to all who are watching. When you find yourself in a situation where it is difficult to determine exactly what the right thing is, look to your church leaders, your pastor and get their council. Go the Lord in prayer and ask for guidance and understanding regarding His Word, which is His will for the situation. Then determine in your heart to follow Him. Yes, but it is so much easier to just turn a blind eye. That may be, but then whom are you trying to please? Who are you bowing to as your Lord? Please the Lord. Do what is right. And Fear Not, You’re representing the King.