Read: Deuteronomy 25
When two people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. (Deuteronomy 25:1)
Justice is a weighty matter. There’s a lot of people around the world who don’t trust their justice system or judges, and many of them do so for good reason. But Moses knew that justice was vitally important to God. As I quoted yesterday, Micah 6:8 tells us that the LORD requires his people to act justly.
Interpersonal justice can be complex, but Moses’ use of the plural indicates he expected multiple judges to make a decision together, just as the testimony of a single person was insufficient evidence to convict of guilt (Deuteronomy 19:15). “Two are better than one… A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” as the saying goes (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12). Being pragmatic, it’s also more difficult and expensive to bribe more than one judge (at least, so I assume). Proverbs has several warnings, aimed at judges and leaders, against taking bribes. So multiple judges should make adjudicating between disputing people fairer.
In the end, Moses and the Israelites had to trust that their Sovereign God would direct court judgements. For this reason Moses could confidently assert that the judges would acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty.
Ultimately, all people will face one judge, Jesus Christ. At that time there will be no quibbling. God will judge fairly and with justice. And if that thought doesn’t make a person fear the LORD, then they need to spend just a little time in self-reflection, because not one of us is entirely innocent. We will render an account of our actions and no one will be acquitted except all those who have been justified freely by God’s grace through Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).
People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement (Hebrews 9:27).
LORD God Almighty,
Your word is living and active, a two-edged sword like one that cuts between bone and marrow. So, too, your judgement is finely balanced as a master archer’s arrow in flight.
One day I will face your justice. I cling to your mercy and grace. I will stand firm on the justification and redemption you have promised. I walk in the righteousness and holiness of your Son, Jesus Christ.
May you confirm my hope and faith on the day we meet face to face at your judgement seat.