he will certainly lie down with your wives under the eyes of this sun. Whereas you yourself acted in secret, I, for my part, shall do this thing in front of all Israel and in front of the sun.”—2 Sam. 12:11, 12.
The Bible account reveals that David indeed suffered much trouble from his own family. (2 Sam. chaps. 13-18; 1 Ki. chap. 1) While God did not put him to death, because of the kingdom covenant with David (2 Sam. 7:11-16), David suffered even greater sorrows. As an earlier servant of God, Elihu, had said: “There is One who has not shown partiality to princes.” (Job 34:19) However, based on the coming sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God could forgive the repentant David and yet maintain his own justice and righteousness. (Rom. 3:25, 26) Through the sacrifice of his Son, God has a just and impartial basis on which to undo the death of Uriah and others, so that, ultimately, none suffer unjustly.—Acts 17:31.
COUNSEL TO JUDGES
Jehovah gave strong counsel to the judges in Israel as to impartiality. Judges were under the strict command: “You must not be partial in judgment.” (Deut. 1:17; 16:19; Prov. 18:5; 24:23) They were not to show partiality to a poor man merely because of his poorness, through sentimentality, or from prejudice against the wealthy. Neither were they to favor a rich man because of his wealth, perhaps catering to him for favor, a bribe, or through fear of his power or influence. (Lev. 19:15) God eventually condemned the unfaithful Levitical priesthood in Israel for violation of his law and, as he particularly pointed out, for showing partiality, since they acted as judges in the land.—Mal. 2:8, 9.
IN THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION
In the Christian congregation impartiality is a law. Showing of favoritism is a sin. (Jas. 2:9) Those guilty of acts of favoritism become “judges rendering wicked decisions.” (Jas. 2:1-4) Such persons do not have the wisdom from above, which is free from partial distinctions. (Jas. 3:17) Those in responsible positions in the congregation are under the serious obligation the apostle Paul placed on Timothy, an overseer: “I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to keep these things without prejudgment, doing nothing according to a biased leaning.” This would apply especially when judicial hearings are being conducted in the congregation.—1 Tim. 5:19-21.
Those ‘admiring personalities for benefit’ condemned
Violation of the principle of impartiality can result in the severest condemnation. Jesus’ half-brother Jude describes some who Infiltrate the congregation with gross immorality, and says: “These men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, proceeding according to their own desires, and their mouths speak swelling things, while they are admiring personalities for the sake of their own benefit.” (Jude 16) These men are called “the ones that make separations, animalistic men, not having spirituality.” (Jude 19) Such ones may sway others by their swelling words and their admiration or acceptance of personalities, like the ones Paul describes who “slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires.” (2 Tim. 3:6) Destruction awaits them.—Jude 12, 13.
“Worthy of double honor”—How?
In view of these things, how can those in the Christian congregation reckon the older men who preside in a fine way “worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching”? (1 Tim. 5:17) This is not because of the personalities of these men or their ability, but because of their diligence and hard work at the extra responsibilities placed upon them. God’s arrangements and appointments are to be respected. Such men should receive special cooperation and support in getting the work of God’s congregation accomplished. (Heb. 13:7, 17) James the half brother of Jesus points out that teachers in the congregation are under weighty responsibility to God, receiving heavier judgment. (Jas. 3:1) Therefore they deserve to be heard, obeyed and given honor. For a similar reason the wife should honor and respect her husband, who is charged by God with responsibility for the household and is judged by Him accordingly. (Eph. 5:21-24, 33) Such respect of men placed in responsible positions by God’s arrangement is not partiality.
Respect for rulers
Christians are also told to respect rulers of human governments, not because of the persons of these men, some of whom may be personally corrupt. Neither is it because special favors might come from them due to their power, as is often the motive of those who do favors for rulers. Christians respect rulers because God commands it; also because of the high position of responsibility the office stands for. The apostle says: “Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God.” (Rom. 13:1, 2) These men, if they misuse their authority, are answerable to God. The honor or respect due the office is rendered to the one filling that office by the Christian according to the rule: “Render to all their dues, to him who calls for the tax, the tax; to him who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to him who calls for fear, such fear; to him who calls for honor, such honor.” (Rom. 13:7) The honor rendered in this particular respect by the Christian above that accorded to ordinary citizens is not ‘accepting the person’ of individuals or showing partiality.
A ceremonious induction into office; an initiation, with solemn ceremonies, of an institution or place. The word is drawn from the Latin inaugurare, but the English word no longer carries the original Latin meaning of “divination by augury,” that is, by the reading of omens or portents. “Inaugurate,” clothed in its modern meaning, is therefore a suitable equivalent for the Hebrew verb hha·nakhʹ (noun form, hhanuk·kahʹ) when it means “to initiate, dedicate or consecrate formally.” Similarly, “inaugurate” is a fitting translation of the Greek verb eg·kai·niʹzo, which primarily means to make new, renew or innovate, as by dedication. The Hebrew word neʹzer, the holy sign of dedication, is considered under the subject DEDICATION.
When the Mosaic Law covenant was put into operation it was solemnly initiated by suitable ceremonies of animal sacrifices and by sprinkling of blood on the altar, on the book and on the people. This event was referred to by the apostle Paul as the eg·kai·niʹzo or the act of inaugurating that covenant.—Ex. 24:4-8; Heb. 9:18-20.
By Paul’s words, “neither was the former covenant inaugurated without blood” (Heb. 9:18), he indicates that the new covenant was similarly put into effect—inaugurated by Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, there to present the value of his human life, and thereafter to pour out holy spirit