Everybody Loves Robin Hood
Monday, December 18, 2017
He who justifies the wicked and he who
condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
A person who condemns the righteous is an abomination to the Lord. King David himself condemned the righteous by his adultery with Bathsheba and his cover-up murder of Uriah. But God saw it all, and the thing that David had done displeased the Lord (2 Sam. 11:27).
The one who justifies the wicked is also an abomination to the Lord. But he can hide his sin behind a mask of seeming grace and love. We see it every day. The enabler who makes excuses for an alcoholic; a parent reluctant to discipline; a bleeding-heart judge who puts dangerous people back on the street; a denomination that sanctifies sexual perversion; churches that neglect discipline; politicians who sacrifice principle for fear of the polls. All the thousand ways in public and private life we justify the wicked and call it love and understanding. God looks with equal disfavor on both kinds of injustice—both alike [are] an abomination to the Lord—on those who assault the good. And on those who wink at evil.
Of course, it’s much easier to wink. If you rise up to help the innocent, you’re a hero; but if you rise up to call sin by its right name, you’re intolerant, bigoted, homophobic, anti-choice, peevish, or something else equally monstrous. Everybody loves Robin Hood; whistleblowers get fired. It’s an unpleasant prospect, but God says it Himself—in an unholy world, somebody has to say “no” to the wicked.
Welcome to Christ Church this third Sunday of Advent. All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, God says, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up (Ps. 75:10).
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