WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 30, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T JUDGE BY APPEARANCE OR HEARSAY
BY T. O. BANSO
“He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay” (Isaiah 11:3 New Living Translation).
Appearance could be deceptive. Things are not always what they first appear to be. Not all that glitters is gold. There could be more to what you see about someone, a business, an offer, and so on, or what you have been told. Therefore, you should not base your judgment on appearance or hearsay, or even someone’s report. You must be patient and find out the truth.
Joshua and the leaders of Israel were deceived by appearance. The Gibeonites deceived them, pretending to be from a far place whereas they were their neighbours. Thus, they deceived them to sign a peace treaty with them. Israel only realized they lied after they had signed. It was too late. They could not annul the treaty (Joshua 9:3-27).
Also, because the Prophet Samuel was looking at the appearance of the sons of Jesse, he almost anointed as king those whom God had refused. There was no king among the seven sons of Jesse that was brought before Samuel (1 Samuel 16:6-10). Verse 7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’” (New King James Version). It was the unlikely person, David, whose father did not invite him to the meeting that was the choice of God. Immediately after he arrived, God instructed Samuel to anoint him as king.
Paul told the Corinthians, “You are looking at the outward appearance of things” (2 Corinthians 10:7a Good News Translation). God doesn’t look at the appearance; He looks at the heart. The Bible warns against honouring people based on appearance (James 2:1-6). Dubious people sometimes dress like gentlemen! Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Prophesying the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 11:3, “His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears” (New King James Version). Consider the second part of this verse. What is the meaning of “He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears”?
For a better understanding of the verse, other translations will be helpful. The New International Version renders it thus: “And he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” The Contemporary English Version puts it this way: “His greatest joy will be to obey the Lord. This king won’t judge by appearances or listen to rumors.” This scripture means that the Messiah (Jesus) will not judge by appearance or decide by hearsay. You should cultivate this attribute. “He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay” (Isaiah 11:3 New Living Translation).
Don’t judge a matter or someone by his appearance or the rumour you have heard or hearsay. That’s why, generally, hearsay evidence is inadmissible in court but only in instances that fall under the exceptions to the rule.
There is more than one side to an issue. Listen to the parties involved in a matter. As it is said in Latin, audi alteram partem, which means hear the other side; hear both sides. (Black’s Law Dictionary). In other words, “no man should be condemned unheard.” Don’t judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. All you’re told may not be the truth or the whole truth. Get the other side of the story. There can’t be justice without a fair hearing.
Nicodemus, a secret disciple of Jesus who was a member of the Jewish Council asked his colleagues, “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” (John 7:51 New International Version). That didn’t sit well with them because they had made up their minds about Jesus. But Nicodemus was right. He wanted them to do the right thing and not condemn a man without giving him a fair hearing. They eventually crucified Jesus even when Pilate didn’t find Him guilty. What manner of justice was that?
Don’t judge by hearsay. The first time David had the opportunity of killing Saul but didn’t, he said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’?” (1 Samuel 24:9 New King James Version). Saul was acting on hearsay, pursuing David everywhere to kill him. Don’t act on mere hearsay. Establish the truth. Proverbs 18:13 says, “What a shame-yes, how stupid!-to decide before knowing the facts!” (The Living Bible). As a child of God, don’t ignore His help as you seek to know the facts. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version). This is very important.
Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus continues in Isaiah 11:4a: “But he will judge the poor honestly; he will be fair in his decisions for the poor people of the land” (New Century Version). Psalm 9:8 says, “He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice” (New International Version).
Judge fairly; avoid injustice (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; 16:19; 27:19; Psalm 82:2; Zechariah 7:9). According to Proverbs 24:23b, “Showing partiality as a judge is not good” (God’s Word Translation). James 2:9 says if you show favoritism or partiality, you sin and are convicted by the law as a lawbreaker.
Don’t judge by appearance or hearsay.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: The Spirit of the Lord is in me — the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Holy Spirit, help me not to judge others or things by appearance or hearsay. I shall not be deceived by the way people or things appear or jump to conclusions in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, expose every deceptive person around me. Let me not be a victim of people’s deception.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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