Sunday School Commentary and Preview 1- 23-22


Greetings members and friends and welcome to another commentary and preview to this Sunday’s study of the Word.  This Sunday’s study text is entitled “Judges, Justice and Priest” and it is based on Deuteronomy 16:18-20, 17:8-13

Christians believe the God of Abraham and Father of Jesus is the One and only true God.  This God is also the Maker and Creator of everything which includes us.  As such, it is His prerogative to establish the principles, rules and standards His creation will operate under. 

All the physical and natural laws which govern our world and the universe are established by God.  Moral and ethical laws through which people relate to other people and things are also His to establish. 

One such law or principle is the ideal or notion of justice.  The underpinning of justice, as with God’s laws of morals and ethics, is found in the command to treat everyone the way one wants to be treated or to love others as oneself.  In keeping with this, we are commanded to seek what is fair and balanced when dealing with harm or injury to our relationships with others whether caused intentionally or unintentionally. 

In our fallen world, disruptions in harmonious relationship are going to occur.  To deal with those disruptions, God told the Israelites through Moses to appoint unto themselves judges.  The lesson text does not give the criteria or method for appointing judges, but it is mention and seen in other places. 

A judge will hold enormous power and authority to make decisions that impact on a society.  Therefore, judges should be God-fearing, respected within their community, wise, trustworthy, experienced and understanding in order to be appointed to judge the relationships of others. 

Beginning with these characteristics, judge’s decisions must be just.  To be just, a decision must be fair to all involved.  It should seek to repair, and to the extent it is possible, restore societal harmony to the place it was or to a better place.  

In order to do this, the text says justice cannot be twisted.  In other words, decision cannot be declared or rendered as fair and balanced when they are not.  They violate the divine principle of treating everyone the way one wants to be treated.  To prevent this from happening, judges must be impartial with those appearing before their court.  They must not show respect of persons or  accept gifts or bribes in making their decisions. 

A just judiciary is essential to the survival of the society as expressed in v. 20 with the words “so you may live or continue to be” in the land.  In the United States, the appointment of judges is the most important exercise in the nation which has turned into a partisan political endeavor that is leading to the disrespect of the decisions judges are called on to make. 

When people have no confidence in the decisions of the courts and refuse to abide by them, that signals the beginning of anarchy and the breakdown of law and order.  For a society to live, there must be confidence in and respect for the courts. 

The latter verses of the study text emphasize the importance of making just decisions especially in matters where a judge is incapable of making the decision.  Here Moses establishes a type of court of appeals rooted in the priesthood. 

When the civil courts proved inadequate to deal with a case, an appeal to the spiritual was to take its place.  The decisions made by the priest had the added sanction of Divine appointment because the priests were chosen or determined by Divine Law.  Their judgement was final and could not be appealed.  

It was similar to the United States Supreme Court from which there is no appeal of its’ decision.   Everyone was to abide by it without question regardless of how they felt about it.  Those who refused to abide by the judgement, were considered evil and had to be removed from society by way of death if necessary.  So shall the nation survive or continue. 

The United States is on the brink of chaos and anarchy because of how the members of the Supreme Court have been chosen recently.  When controversial and unpopular decisions were handed down in the pass, the nation generally when along with the decision because the populace had confidence in the process and judges were confirmed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis. 

Today, judicial appointments are held hostage and confirmed on an ideological and party line vote.  This is eroding confidence in the backstop of law and order and justice in this nation.  When the backstop no longer works, lawlessness and violence will take its place. 

God’s people need to recognize this and help restore integrity to the most importance exercise and process in society of appointing those who repair, restore and enhance societal relationship.  The law and its application must be fair and just to those who believe as well as those who don’t believe, to the God-fearing and the godless for harmony to prevail.  

Well, be sure to look over the study again and come prepared to offer your comments, questions and perspective on the meaning of the study.  If you can’t attend your own Sunday School class this Sunday, you can join us live and online at 9:00 am at and clicking the online services link

You can also join us live by dialing 508 924-2890.  If you have any comments or questions, be sure to place them in the comment section or you can share them on Sunday.  So, let’s all have a great lesson and discussion this Sunday and remember to fear God and keep His commandments.


Pastor Jordan