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[The Covenants]:
[The Old Covenant]:
[The Law of Moses]:
Justice in Israel
Written on March 8th, 2005 - 2:00AM
Last Updated: December 5th, 2006 - 7:27PM

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin,{ cumin is an aromatic seed from Cuminum cyminum, resembling caraway in flavor and appearance. It is used as a spice.} and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)

One weighty, heavy matter of the Law, according to the Christ, is that of justice, or judgment. When rebuking the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and lopsided understanding of God's Law, He showed them that "justice" or "judgment" was one important matter in the Law they should have not left undone.

One likely reason Jesus considered this a weighty matter of the Law was because of how it was an intimate quality of Yahweh. He executes justice, not regarding the faces of persons (not having respect for one and not another, etc)., but is rather always doing righteousness. Looking at the Creator we see the pure judgment that proceeds from His Throne.

Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, "Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth, keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children's children, on the third and on the fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6, 7)

Even with His own wife, Israel, He executes what is true and right. When she disobeyed, as He promised, He cursed (Jeremiah 30:14). And when she obeyed, as He promised, He blessed (Exodus 39:43). He executed the same righteous justice with other nations that had no Covenant with Him as well; but usually not to the same degree as with Israel, because of that Covenant relationship.

We see a cause and effect God set before His people. He does not take bribes, but gives justice even to the ones who are despised. Therefore, Israel was to love the foreigner, just as God loved Israel when they were foreigners in the land of Egypt. He executed justice then and would again with foreigners in the land of Israel. The Israelis were to learn from this and emulate the behavior of Yahweh by loving strangers in their land.

17For Yahweh your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awesome, who doesn't regard persons, nor takes reward. 18He does execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the foreigner, in giving him food and clothing. 19Therefore love the foreigner; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

You shall not wrest the justice [due] to the foreigner, [or] to the fatherless, nor take the widow's clothing to pledge; but you shall remember that you were a bondservant in Egypt, and Yahweh your God redeemed you there: therefore I command you to do this thing. (Deuteronomy 24:17, 18)

The Judges: Commanders of Justice

The Law required justice from those who followed its ways, and commanded there to be ordained elders and judges whose job was providing justice. It was up to these elders in Israel, and those of the tribe of Levi and those ordained as priests, to make sure justice was being executed. Therefore, it was vital that there be those ordained by God, and approved by the people. This word of wisdom came from Moses' father-in-law, Jethro (Exodus 18:12-27); and was later required by Moses as seen below.

Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which Yahweh your God gives you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not wrest justice: you shall not respect persons; neither shall you take a bribe; for a bribe does blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. (Deuteronomy 16:18, 19)

God demands that the wicked be condemned and the righteous justified. The judges are to give pure justice, without being partial to any person.

If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, and [the judges] judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked; (Deuteronomy 25:1)

The appeal for this is that Yahweh is the completeness of such justice and His people were to learn from His example. It was important that there was an order of authority in the nation. Without it, chaos would result. With no one to guard the Law and its execution, the people would perish from lack of restraint.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed. (Proverbs 29:18)

The judgment of the judges was final. Without this finality, the people would resort to self-justification, which always leads to sin, which leads to death.

You shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatever is right in his own eyes; (Deuteronomy 12:8)

The People: Doers of Justice

You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in court to side with a multitude to pervert justice; (Exodus 23:2)

It did not rest upon the shoulders of Israel's elders alone that justice be carried out. The people had to accept the sentences of judgment and do according to what was spoken by those in leadership. If they did not, justice would be forsaken, though it had been commanded by those in charge. Thus it remains on the shoulder of Israel's common people, just as it does upon their elders, to execute justice.

8If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates; then shall you arise, and go up to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose; 9and you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge who shall be in those days: and you shall inquire; and they shall show you the sentence of judgment. 10You shall do according to the tenor of the sentence which they shall show you from that place which Yahweh shall choose; and you shall observe to do according to all that they shall teach you: 11according to the tenor of the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the sentence which they shall show you, to the right hand, nor to the left. 12The man who does presumptuously, in not listening to the priest who stands to minister there before Yahweh your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die: and you shall put away the evil from Israel. 13All the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously. (Deuteronomy 17:8-13)

The charge of murder involved other people; the one whose kin was killed had the authority and duty to kill the murderer as soon as he was found if there were two or more witnesses. However, if the killer fled to a city of refuge before then, that city's people had the duty to protect the killer until he was brought before a judge. Thus, it largely remained with the people to ensure that justice was carried out in the case of homicide (Numbers 35:10-34).

Requiring Justice: The Blessing & The Curse

So important was justice to the Father that He specifically cursed those who perverted it. In addition, He also promised life and peace in the Land He promised to those who guarded justice and did not let it become perverted.

Cursed be he who wrests the justice [due] to the foreigner, fatherless, and widow. All the people shall say, Amen. (Deuteronomy 27:19)

That which is altogether just shall you follow, that you may live, and inherit the land which Yahweh your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 16:20)

The Lord reiterates a cause and effect. If Israel behaved righteously, giving justice to the poor as well to the rich, He would keep them alive and set them in the Land He promised. The opposite of this is what many Jews in the days of Christ were doing—taking bribes, respecting persons, wresting justice from the poor, the widows and the strangers—and they shortly thereafter received the righteous judgment of the Father: they were killed and dispersed from their land! The Holy Spirit does not respect persons; He requests obedience or else He will execute justice!

In studying both the blessing and the curse, we see that it is up to both the judges and the judged to execute justice. The judges may hand down a sentence that is righteous but the people may disregard it. As seen above, it is up to the people to kill the one who despises justice so that the evil will be put away from Israel's midst. God knows that sin spreads and made provision for keeping it at bay with harsh and final judgments against those who walked foolishly.

If God's people would heed this weighty matter of the Law called justice, we would begin to not only better understand the nature of our Maker—by seeing the perfection in His judgment and emulating it in our lives—but also come to a place of peace where sin is not tolerated, but dealt with swiftly. Such a pure heart would bring cleansing to God's people and display the holiness that He intended for us to enjoy.


Last Accessed: April 15th, 2021 - 1:49AM
Times Read: 1678
 
The Good Message

As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.

But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.

This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, Christ Jesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.

You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.

God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.

That Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.

His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.

The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.

So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.

Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!

 
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Comments by other readers
pamela cade United States of America I would like to understand the comparison between this and grace and mercy brought by Jesus Crist through forgiveness by his blood and the promise of redemption. Mercy does triumph over judgement. This is all "Law" and we have a better covenant, which does not entitle us to presumption on His grace, I understand. But...mercy !!! August 24th, 2005 06:17:37 PM
 
 
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