Friday, September 23, 2005

Appointing Judges (5)

The judges of Israel appointed in various ways. Moses was called by God when watching the sheep in Midian. Samuel was called to this task when he was a young boy, or when his Mother dedicated him to the Lord’s work.

Exodus 18:24-26 describes how Moses appointed the first judges.

Some judges were appointed by kings. King Jehosohophat was noted for appointing judges (2 Chron 19:4). This is not ideal as kings are a sub-optimal option anyway. A judge that is appointed by a king might have difficulty deciding fairly between the king and citizen.

After the return from exile, Ezra the priest appointed judges to administer justice. This was not a normal situation either, as the system was being restored. I would not like to see the church appointing judges.

The truth is that judges do not need to be appointed. Most judges will emerge as wise men in their local communities. They will be recognized as judges because people start going to them to sort out difficult problems. The title judge will be just recognition for what they are already doing.

Moses did not really choose people to be judges. He just gave recognition to people who were respected by their families and tribes, while acting in his prophetic role.

People will always go to judges that they trust. Judges that made good decisions will get more cases to decide. If people do not like a decision that a judge has made, they will be able to appeal to another judge to hear their case. If a judge is constantly having his decisions overturned by other judges, people will stop going to him. He will become a judge in name only.

Good judges will be lifted up by their wisdom.

No comments: