ISSL Reflections January 23 2022 Deuteronomy 16:18–20; 17:8–13 Post 1

Let’s take this as our starting place this week –

“Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue”
Deuteronomy 16:20

With that as our lens, let’s read (and reread) these passages paying attention to all that is reported to go into pursuing “justice, and only justice.”

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 (New Revised Standard Version)

You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people. You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 17:8-13 (New Revised Standard Version)

If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another—any such matters of dispute in your towns—then you shall immediately go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the Lord will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left. As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the Lord your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.

Who do you find identified in this reading?

What roles do they fill in that society?

Other than the call to pursuing justice, what strikes you as foundational?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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