Unjust Judges

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God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:1-4).

The psalmist rebukes the judges because the people go to them for help but they are treated unjustly and partiality is shown to those who are afflicting them. These judges are in darkness because they subvert justice. Something basic justice is compromised although they are in a position to do what is right.

God has put these judges in place to do His justice among the people. Judges hold the fate of people in their hands. They make decisions which affect lives. This is why they are called “gods”.

However, like the psalmist, God rebukes them. He declares, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” In other words, they may act as His representatives presiding over court cases but they are men and He is as much their God as He is the God of those whom they are judging over. They must be careful and make sure that they judge justly or they will have to answer to Him who is our righteous Judge.

Judges should never preside over a case in which he or she is biased against or in favour of one of the parties. “Actual bias exists where a judge can be shown to be so committed to a particular outcome that evidence and arguments presented will not alter that outcome.” Such a judge should be disqualified from the case. The judges whom the psalmist speak of should not be in a position where they hear and decide cases because the outcome will not be fair or impartial. There will undoubtedly be a miscarriage of justice which everyone–poor or rich, black or white, man or woman are entitled to.

If everyone, including judges were to follow this teaching of Jesus,  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31), there would be more justice and peace in the world.

Source: Go to Court

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