“Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous”
Today’s Morsel: As a leader, one of the things you learn quickly in the military is what gifts you can and can not receive from the people you oversee. Sometimes, people’s face and countenance would change when they want to give you something and you had to tell them that you could not receive it from them. This even held true for gifts that you may receive from allied nations. As a senior military leader, I found myself having to ask my legal officer what I could and could not accept. This is still in my mind today when people in the church want to give me a gift. I find myself questioning if I should receive it or not because of my military training. Lady Justice, which stands outside of the US Justice Department, has on a blindfold, a set of scales in her hand, and a sword. The scales represent the weighing of evidence and are balanced to portray that the evidence should stand on its own. The blindfold represents never favoring the strong nor the weak, the rich nor the poor, the righteous nor the wicked, the black nor the white, never favoring one over the other. And the sword represents authority and conveys the idea that justice can be swift and final. Moses told the judges that they should not wrest judgment; that they should not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift blinds the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. He cautioned them that a bribe could cause them to pervert and not be fair in their dealing and rendering justice fairly to all people. Even Elisha rejected Naaman’s gift after his healing. But his servant went after it and was made a leper for life (see 2 Kings chapter 5). We must never be unfair when rendering judgment.
Sing: I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.
Thought for today: Never take a gift to pervert judgment (Parker)