“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you…” Deuteronomy 5:16
The structure of the book of Deuteronomy follows the pattern of the Ten Commandments. Moses addresses the subject of leadership from Deuteronomy 16, which is an application of the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.”
“Your father and your mother” are the first authority figures in your life, and God says you are to honor them. Moses applies this principle to the broader life of God’s people, laying out four offices of leadership—the judge, the king, the priest, and the prophet.
“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” (16:18).
Every time a new name comes up for the Supreme Court, we have this long discussion: Does this person lean to the left or to the right? Does this person have political partiality? During election season we see staggering amounts of money being spent on campaigns, and it is reasonable to ask where this money is coming from, and what commitments are being made in return.
“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” (16:19). God is speaking about the corrupting power of money given to secure an outcome. Even wise people lose the ability to see clearly; even righteous people end up twisting their words.
Do we have judges in the world today who pervert justice for their own gain? When God speaks about judges, this is for us.
Pray that our country’s politicians would reject bribes and make right judgments.