Deuteronomy 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Introductory Thoughts

It is unfortunate when the world steals a biblical principle and twists the truth by perverting it to satisfy its own wicked ways. According to the Bible, no man is to be respected above another person in a form of unrighteous judgment (Leviticus 19:15). This truth was never intended to infer nondiscrimination in every matter. Instead, the idea was to keep people from being persuaded to “wrest judgment” (Deuteronomy 16:19) because someone was “great” (Deuteronomy 1:17), “proud” (Psalm 40:4), “poor,” or “mighty” (Leviticus 19:15). Furthermore, no one was to discriminate because someone was well-off financially (James 2:1-6; Deuteronomy 16:19). After all, it is a sin to judge upon any grounds other than the truth of the word of God (Proverbs 24:23; Proverbs 28:21).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God’s laws are for everyone (Leviticus 24:22). Many judges were wicked, had favourites, and took bribes (1 Samuel 8:1-3; Isaiah 1:23; Psalm 82:2-4). They will not get by with this (Job 13:10). Paul warned Timothy to judge without partiality (1 Timothy 5:21).
• (For everyone): Can you think of some times in scripture when God discriminated? How is that different than what the Bible warns against when it says not to respect persons in judgment?
• How do we have to be careful as Christians when it comes to respecting persons (James 2:1-7)? What happens when we fail to heed the warnings of scripture (James 2:9)?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to help you take His mind on respecting persons.
• Ask the Lord to keep you from the world’s corrupt philosophies.