From all appearances it seemed to be a fine morning. Hena had awoken and begun his morning routine. Last night was a blast. He and his friends had literally ravished the city; it was their common diversion. As he made his way to the local market to buy some bread, he remembered what his friends told him that crazy religious guy had said last night, that what they were doing was “wickedness.” “What a self righteous judger” he thought. His friends had thought the same. He stopped; what’s that funny smell, he wondered? He turned around and looked behind him; buildings were burning in every direction. It was sulfur. Fireballs were raining down upon the city from every direction. There was no escape.
You may recognize the setting of the above fictional story: Sodom. However, what was not fictional about the story was what Lot said about the men of Sodom’s activities; he called it “wickedness” (Genesis 19:7). What was also true in this story is the reaction that the men of Sodom had to Lot’s characterization of their activities. The Bible records them as saying, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge!” (Genesis 19:9 ESV). Such response is stereotypical of those who are involved in sinful activities. They condemn the messenger, instead of heeding the message. Why do men accuse those who speak the truth of judging them?
First, because they don’t know the true standard of judgment. Hosea 4:6 states, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….” When individuals fail to know the standard of judgment, they are quick to condemn those who abide by that standard. They mistakenly assume that the individual is making himself the standard when in fact he is only reflecting the standard God has given. When God reveals what is right and wrong, the standard comes from God, not from man. When such is the case, it is God who is doing the judging, not men. Jesus said in John 12:48 “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Second, because men don’t like for their sins to be pointed out. The last thing that each of us desires is for someone else to tell us that we are wrong. Proverbs 15:10 states, “Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.” The simply truth of the matter is that if we are wrong, we need someone to tell us. Paul wrote, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). We ought never to be offended at someone telling the truth especially if it is offensive. Why? Because that usually means that we need to change and that’s usually the real reason we are offended.
Third, because it is easier than admitting that one is wrong. The fact of the matter is that personal pride often gets in the way of admitting that one has done wrong. It is a lot more easier to blame the problem on another person instead of confess one’s own faults, at least, in the mind of a proud person. Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Humility means more than simply being a kind person; it means accepting correction when one is wrong.
We have a choice to either accept God’s judgments regardless of who tells them to us or not. The choice is ours, but we will be judged for it (2 Corinthians 5:10).