Proverbs 24:23, These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
Sculptors form an image of justice as a woman holding a scale in her hand measuring the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
She balances the evidence to come to a fair and just conclusion.
Justice is always pictured with a blindfold over her eyes to show that true justice exercised does not judge on the basis of sight.
Justice is to be blind in her deliberations, blind to anything which would detract from impartial execution of fairness to all concerned.
Justice is not to be a respecter of persons.
It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment our proverb tells us.
The Hebrew word for persons in this proverb literally means face.
Therefore we are not to respect faces in judgment.
The word respect in this proverb means to scrutinize, to look intently at, to acknowledge, to be acquainted with or to care for.
Putting these two thoughts together we may conclude that in judgment we are not to scrutinize, we are not to look intently at or to acknowledge the face of the one being judged.
Doing so will hinder justice.
Justice is blindfolded so that she may not look at the face of the one being judged.
In other words justice is not to come to a conclusion by the sight of the eye.
Justice is to shun image as a means of exercising justice.
We have just witnessed a federal trial where efforts were made to take the blindfold off the eyes of justice.
Videos of the defendant's childhood and happy times were displayed for the juries consideration.
Mother's tears and sad stories were told to invoke emotion so that justice might be compromised, death penalties averted.
Images that appeal to the eye instead of reasoned arguments and solid evidence are becoming the norm in the judicial, political and educational systems of our country.
Scrutiny of the face instead of scrutiny of the evidence to lead to judgment.
The importance of the image of a thing is greater than the thing.
The Lord told Jeremiah in: Jeremiah 1:8, Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah was to deliver truth as a prophet of the Lord.
As such the truth was to be delivered without respect of persons.
And because Jeremiah was not to respect persons in delivering truth, God told him that being afraid of their faces would compromise truth.
Being afraid of their faces is the same as being a respecter of their persons.
For being afraid of their faces would compromise the message that God had for them through Jeremiah.
A preacher who compromises his message and alters his preaching based upon who is in the congregation is a respector of persons, because he is afraid of their faces.
In every sermon he preaches, a preacher chooses whether to reprove, rebuke, or exhort.
Many times this choice takes place in his study as he mentally looks upon the faces of those who will be in the congregation next Sunday.
As he pictures their faces in his mind he prepares of his message accordingly.
Or on Sunday from the pulpit he may look intently at who is in the congregation and decide not to or adjust his reproof, his rebuke, or his exhortation.
He decides to change his message because of what he sees.
In doing so he is not being faithful in justice for he is withholding the word of the Lord to those he chooses not to rebuke or reprove or exhort.
He is a respecter of persons.
He is no longer a faithful servant of the Lord.
He is no longer a preacher of the whole counsel of God.
Teachers who deal with students in various ways considering who the child's parents are, are not faithful servants of the Lord.
They are respecters of persons and are withholding justice from that child.
They refuse to love that child as they love another child whose parents are known to cooperate or are known to be pleasant.
Their love is tied to comfort, their own comfort and peace instead of the good of the child.
Fathers who favor one child over the other because differences in the children's personality or abilities or similarities to the father.
Fathers many times adjust judgment because of this favoritism.
Mothers who shy away from handling a problem child in the grocery store because of the faces of the ladies around them are respecters of persons.
They look intently upon the faces of those around them and they alter their judgment because of their faces.
They withhold justice from the child because of this.
They need to get away from the faces that they respect so that they may execute justice on that child, where they can love that child.
Leave the groceries and tend to the child in private, away from the faces that bring fear that causes compromise in judgment!
The proper rearing of the child is more important than groceries!
Peter in his discourse to Cornelius in the book of Acts concluded, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Did not God act justly when David, a man after his own heart, sinned against him when he dealt so deceitfully with Uriah and had him killed in battle?
David was punished before all Israel as he sought God for his dying son.
But God did not look intently in David's face and say to himself this is David.
I will therefore alter my justice because this is David a man after my own heart!
God dispensed favor toward David but in judgment he respected not David because he was David.
No, God is not a respecter of persons in judgment.
God is not influenced by their faces.
Justice is absolute with God and faces will not alter that fact.
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.