Proverbs 24: King James Bible
Respect of Persons – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty four, Verses 23-25
23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: 25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Respect of Persons
These three verses all go together nicely, and we might miss the point that is being made here if we don’t place emphasis on the first verse, vs 23. That verse is the driving point behind the two remaining verses.
You may have already known that, but it just dawned on me to be honest. Actually, there are several things going on here. Without placing emphasis on the first verse, we would be talking about calling good evil, and evil good. On the surface, that is what it appears these pieces of scripture are talking about.
In a way they are, but that’s not the focus. We are given the reason behind someone justifying the wicked as righteous. The one making the judgement is respecting who the wicked person is (whatever the means may be: social status, relation, monetary, etc.).
Having a different set of rules for different people will always wind up causing turmoil. It’s probable that we’re all guilty of this in one degree or another. How about in our own households? Ever wind up being hard on one kid for doing something, but letting the same thing slide for another?
Judgement calls are made by everyone every day. We may not realize this, because we’re so used to doing it. Making a sound and wise judgement call over any matter is what the Lord would call using good judgement, or judging well.
But every now and again it isn’t convenient to call something someone’s doing as wicked. Sometimes it’s just easier to agree that someone is in the right, even though we know full well that they’re in the wrong.
Don’t need the argument, don’t want the trouble, or it may be in our own best fleshly interest to go along with it, and not rock the boat. I’m sure we’ve all been there and done that. This is not wanting to be bothered, rather than taking a harder position of using good judgement when it isn’t personally gratifying to do so.
These things we do, and should recognize this as something to pay attention to, and repent against when the Lord opens our eyes to it. But above, the reasoning isn’t just out of not wanting to bother standing against something wicked and letting it slide by. Instead, someone is calling out the wicked as righteous. Respect of persons can cause for some of us to do some fairly unwise things.
Twisting what is right into what is wrong, simply because of who the wicked person is. This act is taking a person and their wicked actions, and elevating them above the Lord’s established commandments. And the one who is making the crooked judgement call, is also lifting that wicked person above the Lord himself.
But not everyone will buy into that slice of lousy judgement. There will be others who are not starstruck in respect of persons, and will call out the one who is the respecter of persons. Did you notice that?
It’s the decision maker that the people will curse, and the nations will abhor.
Unless you’re a politician or a Judge by trade, we’ll have to scale down what’s going on in the verses above. If I’m a Pastor, and decide that for the Sunday morning service we’re going to sing Marilyn Manson songs over the hymns, because from here forward I am going to consider his music righteous, because he’s my favorite rockstar (he isn’t by the way).
If the congregation has even the slightest shred of discernment, what should happen? My assumption is there would be an emergency meeting, and I would be voted out of Pastoral service for that church and tossed out on my ear, rightly so. What would come next would be to appoint someone who wouldn’t do such a thing, and would be a fitting replacement and a blessing to the church, and the people therein.
That little scenario embodies what the scripture is talking about above. We can scale this down to everyday things as well, the scale doesn’t matter. The Father pays just as much attention to the small things, as he does with the large things.
Related New Testament Scripture
Acts 10: King James Bible
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Colossians 3: King James Bible
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
James 2: King James Bible
2 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? 8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Thank you for your Word, and for your lead through all of the mysteries and treasures therein. Forgive us Lord, if there have ever been any circumstances where we allowed ourselves to choose persons over righteousness, or over you period. Please keep us ever mindful about not being a respecter of persons, and always to use sound Biblical and wise judgement whenever possible, be it convenient or not. And may the blessings come our way by doing so as you’ve promised us above. Thank you for this opportunity to be blessed, and help us to recognize these opportunities as they come. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Is your good judgement clouded by reason of respect of persons?