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Thursday, December 26 2019

“And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do” Moses commanded (Deut 1:16–18 ESV).

When I read this, I cannot help but think about the Preamble of the Declaration of the United States and the Bill of Rights. By God’s instruction, the governing authorities are to protect and guard the rights of the people (Prov 31:8–9). God instructed the judges of Israel to judge impartially the Israelite and the alien, because the judgment is God’s judgment. Isaiah revealed, “For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isa 30:18b; cf. 33:22).

            Without individually rejecting the governing authorities, the American colonies worked to reform their government that Great Britain suspended. The unanimous Declaration of the United States affirmed the rights of every man as created equal and endowed by the Creator with unalienable rights. Furthermore, the Declaration affirmed the necessity and purpose of the government to secure those rights. For the Representatives of the General Congress of the United States published independence “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions” and pledged their lives to one another “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”

            Today, government authorities still stand before God for their actions and God will bring justice (cf. Rev 19:1–2; 20:7–10). God has set today’s authorities to enact justice (1 Pet 2:13–15; cf Rom 13:3–4; Titus 3:1–2). However, many politicians and officials are intimidated and extorted to act partially and ignore justice. Politicians promise great things until the corrupt threaten to slander or uncover secret sins.

            God’s laws for Israel protected and guarded the rights of life, liberty, and property among the people of Israel and strangers in the land. God gave Israel the prerogative to choose their own leaders so that ancient Israel was a republic. Moses instructed Israel, “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads” (Deut 1:13). God knew that Israel would one day ask for a king to judge and reign over them (Deut 17:14–15). Samuel warned them of the heavy burdens of labor and taxes from kings (1 Sam 8:4–18).

            Thank God for the government that secures rights for the people, and trust God to bring justice on those who do not. Thank God for the freedom that Christians have. Subject to the governing authority, be ready to do every good work, and speak evil of no one (Titus 3:1–2).

            When Jesus resurrected, He declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18; cf. Isa 9:6–7). Jesus is the ruler over the kings of the earth. He is the emperor — the King of kings (1 Tim 1:17; 6:15–16; Rev 1:5).

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email