By Pastor Gary Beck | February 22, 2020
Joseph was his father’s favorite son and his brothers did not like it one bit. They were jealous and hatred overcame them to the point that several wanted to kill him. The result was that the brothers sold him into slavery and the father suffered severe grief for years. As you know from the book of Genesis, the story ended well with Joseph advancing to be Prime Minister over Egypt. The story does not stop there, though. All of Jacob’s family moved to Egypt and lived there 400 years, much of that in slavery to the Pharaoh of Egypt. It took some extreme measures to get them back to the promised land. Seven times in the New Testament, scripture reminds us that God does not show favoritism and we are to follow that example. That means we are to act as God does and show justice in dealing with people.
1 Peter 1:17 tells us, “And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So, you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as ‘temporary residents.’”
Scripture records that justice is an important part of who God is and how He deals with people. Over 170 times in the Bible is justice mentioned and encouraged. Let’s look at a few examples:
“Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.” 2 Chronicles 19:7
“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.” Leviticus 19:15
“He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.” Psalms 9:8
“For the righteous LORD loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.” Psalms 11:7
“I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,an
endless river of righteous living.” Amos 5:21-24
Jacob reaped the rewards of showing favoritism, yet God was still able to turn things around to save his family from the famine. Other poor choices allowed them to be enslaved, yet God used that situation to show that He was mightier than all the gods of Egypt. God is still working with us. Let’s learn from the examples in scripture and allow God to show what He can do when we follow His example of justice and see the results of peace and happiness that will be the result.
Pastor Gary Beck