God, the Perfectly Impartial Judge
(1 Pet. 1:17)
Warren E. Berkley
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear.”
If I’m going to respond to God and have a relationship with God, it is imperative that I know Who I’m dealing with. I cannot respond to God effectively, until I come to know the simple truths about who He is. It is a case where acquaintance with God enables reverent obedience to Him.
So the “Father” we deal with through Jesus Christ, Peter says: “…without partiality judges according to each one’s work.”
One of the problems in our American justice system is partial judges. There are some judges who – before they hear evidence – habor favoritism toward a certain people, or prejudice against a certain group. Friends of mine who are lawyers tell me, one of the constant subjects of conversation among attorneys is – the record of certain judges, who are not impartial; who favor or oppose certain kinds of people, before a case is heard. Partial Judges are a well-known fact in our judicial system. And attorneys prefer to present their cases before certain judges, based on their record or reputation.
We need to know that God, our Father, judges “without partiality.” Whether you are black or white…Male or female…Rich or poor… Handsome or ugly…God only wants to know that are you an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ! God looks at your work, at my work – at every one of us – and He knows perfectly, if we are an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ.
So What? What does this mean? “conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear.” We are not here on the earth for long; we are sojourners or visitors here. Since God is perfectly impartial, we must conduct ourselves “in fear.” That fear is reverential awe; it is a deep and abiding respect for God.
Many people just want to put in a little time going to a church building. If nothing else is going on, they may show up for the Sunday morning assembly periodically. But never come to a Bible class; never think of attending Sunday night. And, no daily Bible reading discipline; just pretty much wedded to the world. That kind of mediocrity does not reflect a deep and abiding respect for God!
One paraphrase of verse 17 (The Message, Eugene Peterson):
You call out to God for help and He helps –
He’s a good Father that way. But don’t
forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and
won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your
life is a journey you must travel with deep
consciousness of God.