September 11

You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. Deuteronomy 16:19


Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness. 2 Timothy 2:19


The words in Deuteronomy appear to be directed to those being appointed as judges. Judges were appointed in each of the towns that the people were given by God. Being fair would seem to be what the judges, all judges, should be doing. I recently heard a presentation by a dog trainer and judge at a dog show. In her presentation, she emphasized that there was no way to bribe her (or the other judges), or do anything else to influence her decision as she picked the best dog, or best junior handler. Likewise, we expect judges in our courts to be fair, to listen to both sides, consider the laws, and act accordingly. 


Note, also that the verse is actually directed at those who are picking the judges. This is as Moses is at the end of his time of doling out impartial justice. Now others must take this over. And, the duty of appointing judges and having fair judgment is placed on the people. They do the selecting, and they ensure that the judges are fair, and impartial. 


The verse from 2 Timothy is part of what is said to be an inscription on God’s solid foundation. This foundation stands firm on two points: first, God knows His people, and second, there is a human responsibility to turn from wickedness as part of His church. We are also to be fair, and not show partiality. Certainly we are not to treat one group of people differently than we treat another. After all, the one God made us all and called His creation good. As followers of Jesus we witness to our faith by our actions. Jesus taught: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” (John 14:23) His teaching was summarized in love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.


O Lord, we are yours. Help us to remember this when we are tempted to take the easy, more comfortable road. You are just and your promises are true. You are all we need. Help us today to leave our wickedness behind us as we witness to the freedom and confidence we have in you.  Help us to live according to your teachings, and to be honest, loving, and just in dealing with others. Amen. 


Chris Gabel