Thursday, September 22, 2005

Judges Always (4)

We often think that judging ceased at the end of the book of Judges, but that is not true. Judges continued their work right through the Old Testament period. Moses was the first judge and the judges that he appointed continued into Joshua’s time. Samuel marked the transition to a new type of judge, who specialized in judging and did not get involved in military leadership.

The role of the judges did not disappear when the kings became permanent military leaders. David was a very successful military leader, but he did not always show good judgment. In David’s time, six thousand Levites were set aside to be “officials and judges“ (1 Chron 23:3-5). Kenaniah the Izharite and his sons were also assigned duties as judges over Israel during David’s reign (1 Chron 26:29). Judges are also mentioned during the reign of Solomon Israel (2 Chron 1:2). Jehoshaphat appointed judges in the land when he was king (2 Chron 19:4,5).

Even after the exile, God raised up wise judges for Israel (Ezra 7:25).

Kings came and went and prophets were missing for long periods of history, but God ensured that Israel always had judges to interpret his law. There is no evidence that the ministry of the judge has been abolished. Our hope for the future is that God will restore wise judges to administer his law.

I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counsellors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City (Is 1:26).
When righteous judges are restored, we will experience the city of righteousness and faithfulness.

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