Life-Study of Deuteronomy

Life-Study of Deuteronomyby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-567-X
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 17 of 30 Section 1 of 5

LIFE-STUDY OF DEUTERONOMY

MESSAGE SEVENTEEN

THE REHEARSAL OF THE LAW

(10)

Scripture Reading: Deut. 16:18-20; 17:8-20; 19:15-21; 21:1-9

In this message on the rehearsing of the general statutes and judgments, we will begin to consider the matter of the divine government among the children of Israel (16:18-20; 17:8-20; 19:15-21; 21:1-9, 18-23; 22:13-30; 24:1-4, 7, 16; 25:1-3, 5-16). The portions of Deuteronomy which deal with the divine government are the word of God, not merely the word of Moses. We need to study all these portions in order to know God's mind and to know what He is thinking. God knows man and man's need, condition, and situation. Therefore, whatever God speaks regarding man is the final word.

D. Concerning the Government among the People

The divine government among God's people is neither autocracy nor democracy but theocracy. Theocracy is government by God according to what He is. In the church life today, we exercise neither autocracy, which is a kind of dictatorship, nor democracy, which is according to the opinion of the people. Instead, we honor God's authority as our government, and thus the government in the church is a theocracy.

1. The Appointing of Judges and Officers

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 speaks of the appointing of officers and judges.

a. In All the Cities according to the Tribes

There were to be judges and officers in every city. "You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your cities which Jehovah your God is giving to you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment" (v. 18).

b. To Keep Justice

As verse 19 indicates, the appointed judges and officers were to keep God's justice. "You shall not distort justice; you shall not respect persons, nor shall you take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous." Here we see that the divine government firstly pays attention to justice. Any government that does not practice justice will not last. A strong government is one that is established upon justice. In such a government everything is fair, just, and righteous.

c. To Pursue Righteousness

The judges and officers were required to pursue righteousness. "Righteousness, and only righteousness, shall you pursue, in order that you may live and possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you" (v. 20). To keep justice is to pursue righteousness. By pursuing righteousness the children of Israel would be able to live long on the land God had given them. Without keeping justice and pursuing righteousness, they could not have lived longer in the good land.


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