Falsehood or Fairness
(Exodus 22:28b; 23:1-3, 6-8)
(Deuteronomy 1:9-18; 5:20; 16:18-20; 17:8-20; 19:15-21; 21:22-23; 24:16-18; 25:1-3)
Ancient Hebrew Scroll of the Law
Our Bible readings for the day cover a variety of Old Testament guidelines for government.
Advance Advice About Kings
God gave His people specific laws regulating the selection and service of a king, although the Israelites would not even have one until much later (see 1 Samuel 8).
Personally, I find it intriguing that the Lord would require kings to hand-write His law on scrolls (see Deuteronomy 17:18-20). Writing out Scripture by hand is a wonderful means of studying and memorizing God’s Word. Surely, He intended for the leaders of His people to become intimately acquainted with His truths.
Respect for Rulers
One tiny verse, tucked among the many ancient admonitions, is particularly telling:
“You shall not revile God [the judges as His agents]
or esteem lightly or curse a ruler of your people.”
Living in a society that frowns upon faith, I wonder whether this verse ought to be posted more prevalently among us (along with the Ten Commandments). How freely do folks utter casual remarks that offend the Lord and curse those in leadership among us?
How do we feel about our elected officials? Whether we agree with them or not, do we treat them respectfully or contemptuously? Are we willing to pray for political leaders, even if we have not voted for them?
Our wise and just God devoted a significant section of Scripture to admonitions against favoritism among His people. Today’s Bible readings contain several clear divine rules to promote impartiality, including the prevention of bribery, unfairness to the underprivileged, perjury and unfair court convictions. Also included are definitive guidelines to regulate criminal punishments and personal accountability for crimes committed.
James expanded the Scriptural teaching on favoritism in his New Testament epistle (see James 2:1-9).
The final verses point prophetically, once again, to the coming Christ. The Israelites were instructed to remove the body of anyone who had been executed upon a tree to remove him from the Lord’s curse. Does this not foreshadow the crucifixion of our Lord, who took the sins of the world upon Himself, along with the curse of God, when He died upon the wooden cross (see Deuteronomy 21:22-23)?
Thanks be to our all-powerful God, the only Wise One, who conquered sin and death and restored us unto Himself. Trusting in Him alone, we need never fear the curse of evil and destruction.
Will you pray with me?
King of Kings,
God of the universe
Teach us to honor You.
Remind us to pray
For those in authority on earth,
Even when we do not agree with them.
Reveal to us
Any areas in our lives
In which we may exercise favoritism
May we seek to live
And one another
For Your glory alone.