Who is My Neighbor? (Pt.3): Lighter Than a Breath…

JusticeIn Psalm 62:9, David declares:

Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.

This verse sums up the nature of the distinction between the rich and the poor, for they are together lighter than a breath. While economic disparity is a problem, the solution is not in giving the poor that which belongs to the rich, nor with the poor becoming rich by some other means. For “they are together lighter than a breath.”

As I’ve noted in my last two posts (see here and here), it is the duty of Christians to act in love toward their neighbor by rejecting pacifism and engaging in civil disobedience, if such is necessary. Yet David’s words remind us that the goal we seek is not a realized heaven on earth, “…for the creation was subjected to futility…” (Rom 8:20a) and, as a result, “…moth and rust destroy and…thieves break in and steal” (Matt 6:19). Rather, the goal is the glory of God.

In other words, we know that in this life “offenses must come” (Matt 18:7), and we all are offenders. So while we are seeking to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must keep in mind the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:20). Once we have been raised to incorruptibility, in body and soul, there will be no more sin against God or our neighbor. However, until then we will be offended and offend God and our neighbor.

Thus, the goal for the redeemed people of God is not to establish a new Eden. Rather, our goal is, “whether [we] eat or drink, or whatever [we] do, [to] do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).

As David tells us in Psalm 62:11-12:

… power belongs to God, and…to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.

For you will render to a man according to his work.

And this is where we place our hope.

It is our duty to do what is right, to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Nevertheless, we are constantly reminded of the fact that only God is, strictly speaking, a Just Judge who will rid His earth of all that offends, perfectly saving His elect, and perfectly punishing those who oppose His righteous rule.

Soli. Deo. Gloria.

-h.

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