DEUTERONOMY 16:18 - 17:13
NOTES ON THE TEXT
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 21 “You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the Lord your God hates.17 “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.2 “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, 3 and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, 4 and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel,5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. 6 On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. 7 The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge[a] the evil[b] from your midst.
Although is grace is always with us, God still calls us to live righteously and to seek justice. He calls us to be steadfast in what He has deemed righteous and just. However, it is crucially important that we understand that what is righteous and just is based off and determined by the Word of God. God permits His Kingdom to those who pursue righteousness. His desire is for justice to be had in all communities.
We, as followers of God, are called to look like Jesus in every move we make.
8 “If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose. 9 And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision. 10 Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you. 11 According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left. 12 The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people shall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again.
God appoints the leaders and authorities of our Churches, and His mighty power and grace are over them as they lead the congregation. The most important trait in a spiritual leader is his or her ability to rely on the desires of God's heart. The leaders He appoints over us are to discern God's will always and lead the people in that direction. God calls even the unequipped because He is graceful and looks for something in them that is much deeper than just ability. Instead, He calls those who are yielded to His will and open to His heart to be leaders. By knowing His heart and His desires, like justice and righteousness, we can become developing into spiritual leaders who make mighty waves for the Kingdom