Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 6, 2018

“Hear now, … rulers … Is it not for you to know justice?”

Today’s devotion comes from Micah chapter 3.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Micah+3&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“And I said,

Hear now, heads of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel.
Is it not for you to know justice?

9 Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel,
Who abhor justice
And twist everything that is straight,
10 Who build Zion with bloodshed
And Jerusalem with violent injustice.
11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe,
Her priests instruct for a price
And her prophets divine for money.
Yet they lean on the LORD saying,
“Is not the LORD in our midst?
Calamity will not come upon us.”
12 Therefore, on account of you
Zion will be plowed as a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.”  Micah 3:1 and 9-12.

———————-

“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.”  Isaiah 51:4.

Justice is based on God’s law, and a summary of God’s law as it relates to man’s relationship to man is contained in the following commandments.

“13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:13-17.

A fundamental principle in the administration of justice is to be impartial.

“You shall not show partiality in judgment;  you shall hear the small and the great alike.  You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. …”  Deuteronomy 1:17.

“You shall not distort justice;  you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.  Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  Deuteronomy 16:19-20.

Rulers should not be partial in judgment to the rich, powerful, or popular.  But, rulers should also not even be partial to the poor:  “nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.”  Exodus 23:3.

But, the biggest tendency and danger is to be partial to the rich, powerful, and popular, and so much more is written in Scripture about justice protecting the poor.

“6 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute.  7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.

8 “You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.

9 “You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.”  Exodus 23:6-9.

“God takes His stand in His own congregation;
He judges in the midst of the rulers.
2 How long will you judge unjustly
And show partiality to the wicked?  Selah.
3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:1-4.


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