"and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them." (NIV)
"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." (NKJV)
"You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it." (ESV)
Fear as an equivalent to intimidation. That is an extremely interesting concept. This is one reason that I love to examine bible verses from different translations. There are times when I listen to Bible studies or to other informative information and they discuss the original Greek. I find that information so interesting and I would love to be well versed in the Bible and in Greek to know how to do all of this. But, I assume like many people, I do not have the means or the skill or the time to translate every word of the Bible and look up everything in the concordance. So, I work to be able better understand by examining my favorite verses or study verses in different translations.
Today's verse is a great example of how looking at different translations can be helpful and informative. There are three distinctly different commands here from Jesus. On is that we shall not be afraid of anyone's anger. This really resonates in relation to yesterday's post. When breathing and discussing the joy of Jesus Christ with others, it is likely that it will invoke others to be angry. Many people have chosen to live in the world and to embrace lifestyles contrary to the lifestyle I promote, praise, and live myself by the command of God and Jesus my savior. However, we can not be afraid of the anger that will be provoked.
In the next translation, Jesus commands that we shall not be afraid in the presence of any man for judgement is God's. This is a stronger command that discusses judgement rather than decisions. A decision is something that I make for myself. Judgement can have two definitions. In one it is my personal ability to make a sound decision. The other is a legalistic view of punishment or decision regarding another person. In this verse I believe God is talking about my personal ability to make sound decisions. This is important in that it takes the step farther than simply making a decision to making a sound decision based in God's word. It means that I don't have to take responsibility or stress for that sound decision making when I follow God, for God has already grounded the decision in sound judgment, I must only listen and follow.
The other translation says that I shall not be intimidated by anyone. This is the translation that I take most to heart; however, it builds upon what I have learned from the other translations thus far. I believe that in making sound judgment on how I live my life is important. Not being afraid of professing that belief grounded in God's decisions in judgment is even more important. Personally, however, I find myself being bullied or being afraid of others opinions of me or my professed beliefs. Therefore, God telling me to not be intimidated gives me an extra strength to be able to go where God leads and to be strong enough to verbally and morally and physically live that every single day.
Isn't it amazing how much one verse in three translations can speak to us?