Last week I noted that any return to Biblical justice requires a return to God’s Word as our standard. However, merely having our laws built upon God’s Word is not enough. We must have the type of men behind the bench who will keep the laws. I love to say, “We are only as good as the men who rule us.” This is especially true of judges. Unrighteous judges used the law to convict Jesus. (See especially Matthew 26:59-68) In order for godly laws to be effective we must have righteous men holding the gavel.
In Deuteronomy 1:16-17 and 16:18-20 Moses tells us what type of men the judges are to be.
1. They are not to show partiality. That is why lady justice wears a blindfold. No matter who is coming before the judge he is to show the same amount of care in making a judgment on the case. It does not matter if the man is rich or poor, great or small. Justice must be dealt. In America, we have the rich getting special treatment in the courts because of their money. And the poor getting special treatment because we feel sorry for them. In a biblical system your economic status does not determine whether or not you get a fair trial.
2. They are to fear God and not man. This is why the loss of a higher law is the death of true justice. If there is no law above the judge, he will be more easily persuaded by other men. He will not look to the bar of God where he must give account. But instead will be pushed by politicians or lobby groups or his wife. A righteous judge, like the righteous master in Ephesians 6:9, knows that there is a judge in heaven to whom he must give an account.
3. They must not take bribes. Money or positions of influence or lobbyists or best friends must not influence a judge. He must adhere with the precision of a surgeon to the law. Money makes us blind. How many judges have been put in office because they promised to do this or to do that? How many bought their positions? Bribes are wicked and where they exist true justice is absent.