Monday, April 07, 2008

Voluntary Justice (3) Rejecting Justice

The person found guilty by the judge might refuse to accept the penalty imposed by the court. If the guilty person refused to pay the specified restitution, their tribal elders would say,

We want to stay at peace with our neighbouring tribe. If you want to remain part of us, you had better make restitution specified by the judge.
The guilty person would come under immense moral pressure to pay the penalty.
You must act according to the decisions they give you… Be careful to do everything they direct you to do. Act according to the law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left (Deut 17:10-11).
A person who refuses to accept justice of the judges has placed themselves under a curse.
Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out (Deut 27:26).
The tribe will not want a person that is under a curse in their midst.

If a convicted person cannot afford to pay the specified restitution, family or tribal leaders might make the payment on their behalf and find a way for guilty person to work and repay what they owed. They would do this to maintain peace with their neighbours.
If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him..... If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you (Lev 25:35-36;39-40).
This is an additional benefit of belonging to a tribe. If the convicted person refused to repay their debt to those who had bailed them out, they would lose all the benefits of belonging to their tribe.

No comments: