He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips, he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. - Isaiah 11:3-5
When looking at these verses for the first few times, two words continuously jumped to the forefront. First RIGHTEOUS and then JUDGEMENT. Okay, I thought let me research the definitions from the dictionary and in a Biblical context. What I found was interesting to say the least.
Judgement is the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. So, if we then apply righteousness as being the quality of being virtuous, honorable, or morally right in behavior and thought … can we then judge (with righteousness) others, our leaders, society, and daily life? And can we allow our judgement to dictate how we respond to people and situations in our daily lives?
Let us think for a moment about why we believe we can and should stand in judgment be it of persons or situations. If we make what we think is a righteous judgement, does it benefit or hurt? When making a righteous judgement call, will it result in a fair outcome for all involved? Do we make a righteous judgment call when dealing with the homeless, poor, and other unfortunate people that our world discards, accepting their existence on the fringes of society? Are we right or just going along with the perceived majority?
The best example I have seen of a righteous judgement call in my life is a Presbyterian congregation in Northern Virginia that sold their land and church building to make way for the construction of affordable housing for low income and seniors in the community and thus making a righteous judgment for the citizens of their community. A real example of making a righteous judgement in modern times.
Lord, let us see clearly what a righteous judgement in your eyes looks like. Show us how to make judgements that are righteous which do the “right thing” for us all and not just an action we are convinced will curry favor with you. Remind us you are truly the ultimate maker of righteous judgements not us. Amen.