Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
You must not pervert justice or show favor. Do not take a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and distort the words of the righteous. You must pursue justice alone so that you may live and inherit the land the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 16.19-20
Moses was nearing the end of his life. He would not enter the promised land. There had been elders from each tribe chosen that had received part of the spirit that God had given to Moses to help him in dealing with the people, Numbers 11.16-17. However, up to this point, Moses had been the final word if a difficult matter had to be judged.
A different system would need to be enacted after the Israelites entered the promised land. Each tribe would be given their own land with different cities. They would no longer be in one place altogether.
Moses left the instructions to appoint judges and civil servants in each tribe in all of their villages, 16.18. These men were to judge the people fairly. They were not to show partiality nor take a bribe, but to pursue justice alone. This was one of the conditions that was given to be able to live and inherit the land that God was giving to them. As we know from reading further, due to the injustice practiced later, Israel was carried away to exile.
What does this mean for us today? God has not changed. He is the same. He still expects us to live justly in the world and to treat all men impartially. James wrote to Christians that we should not show prejudice, 2.1. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, James 2.8.
The world is a better place when we practice justice.