Pursue Justice! (4 of 6) by Joe Alain
This content is part of a series.Pursue Justice! (4 of 6)
"Pursue justice and justice alone, so that you will live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 16:20
God is a God of details. That this is true is evident in the way that God provided for the needs of his people even down to the details of how their society would be governed. In this passage, God gives his people some important instructions for choosing judges and officials. The people are to "appoint judges and officials" that will "judge the people with righteous [or just] judgement" (v.18).
The word "Just" or "righteous" means "conforming to a standard of correctness, acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good." What is "just" is that which corresponds to God's righteous character.
We have a mandate from God to be stewards of His creation (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 8). With that responsibility comes the demand of justice. We are to reflect the character of God in how we regard and treat others. Because justice has its source and authority in God, believers must be diligent in pursuing a just society.
How do we pursue justice? How do we pursue this kind of life that corresponds to the righteous character of God? Let's see what God has to say to us from His Word.
Explanation of the Text (Read 16:18-20)
* It is a time of transition and there is a need for structure - "Appoint judges and officials . . . in all your towns" (v.18)
Israel is transitioning from being a wandering people who have been governed by close knit family structures to a people that are becoming a settled village-centered culture in the promised land. As Israel grew there was an increasing need for some type of governmental structure. Israel would be governed with judges and other leaders or "officials," a word which has the meaning "to write" or "to arrange." It was commonly used in the OT to refer to persons who decided legal cases and administ ...
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