May 8 I Wednesday
2 Kings 4-6
“Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling-block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
It is often easy to cast immediate judgment on another person. But Paul warns us, “Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). In other words, we should not judge another person because God will bring things to light and expose the motives of men’s hearts.
Paul gives an example of how God will test for the truth: “If anyone builds of this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is….It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13). In this metaphor, each of these commodities, built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, responds differently to fire. Gold, silver and precious stones will survive the fire, whereas, wood, hay and straw are extremely flammable and will burn up very quickly. Paul does not give a contrast between these elements, but we may speculate their division lies in what is found on the surface—wood, hay and straw—and what is hidden underground—gold, silver and precious stones.
When we mine for silver or gold, we will find them in chunks, where it looks nothing like their element because they have to go through a process of refinement under fire in order to be purified. Likewise, we do not always see the gold hidden in people because we are all a mixture, where we have a flesh that battles with temptation and fights against the Spirit. None of us are going to be perfect in this life, but there is going to come a day when our work will be tested by fire and shown for what it is. The surface will be gone and the hidden will emerge.
We could interpret the hay, wood and straw as things we have done on our own strength, whereas the gold, silver, and metal are what God has done in and through us. Any action done apart from God, however well-intended, will burn like chaff, but those things motivated and accomplished by Him will last.
Luke tells us, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17). Just as we have to labour to find gold, judgment day will dig up the roots of our actions. Instead of casting judgments on others, may we spur others along with us to walk in a manner worthy of His calling.
Prayer: Dear God, nothing in my life is hidden from You. Forgive me of my past sins and I ask that You refine me with Your fire that I may emerge out of it as pure gold. Thank You.