God’s Saving Word: Justice and Peace
Deuteronomy 1:9‒18: The book of Deuteronomy is presented as Moses’s last words to the generation of Israelites who are ready to enter and occupy the Promised Land. His opening speech includes a review of Israel’s wilderness journey from Mount Sinai to where they are now encamped in the plains of Moab (verses 1‒8). Today’s reading outlines the appointment of judges to help bear the responsibility of leadership.
Moses Appoints Judges
9 Moses said to the people, “While we were still at Mount Sinai, I told you, ‘The responsibility for leading you is too much for me. I can’t do it alone. 10 The Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you increase a thousand times more and make you prosperous, as he promised! 12 But how can I alone bear the heavy responsibility for settling your disputes? 13 Choose some wise, understanding, and experienced men from each tribe, and I will put them in charge of you.’ 14 And you agreed that this was a good thing to do. 15 So I took the wise and experienced leaders you chose from your tribes, and I placed them in charge of you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. I also appointed other officials throughout the tribes.
16 “At that time I instructed them, ‘Listen to the disputes that come up among your people. Judge every dispute fairly, whether it concerns only your own people or involves foreigners who live among you. 17 Show no partiality in your decisions; judge everyone on the same basis, no matter who they are. Do not be afraid of anyone, for the decisions you make come from God. If any case is too difficult for you, bring it to me, and I will decide it.’ 18 At the same time I gave you instructions for everything else you were to do.
Today’s Key Verse: Deuteronomy 1:16b
[Moses said:] “Judge every dispute fairly, whether it concerns only your own people or involves foreigners who live among you.”
In today’s reading, Moses acknowledges that leadership is a responsibility he cannot carry out alone (verse 9). What instructions did Moses give to those appointed to serve as judges (verses 16‒18)? How are leadership responsibilities handled within your community of faith? How are disputes resolved?
Sovereign God, when I face situations that involve disagreements or conflict, help me to discern your will so that matters can be resolved fairly and peacefully. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
And now, join us in thanking God that the African Women Devotional Bible is strengthening the faith of thousands of believers. Gracious God, thank you that since the completion and launch of the African Women Devotional Bible, 20,000 copies have already been distributed to women throughout Africa. Women in 15 countries across the continent have strengthened their faith in Jesus through this long-awaited Bible. There is now growing interest in similar devotional Bibles for women in other parts of the world; and with the support of Bible Society donors, more women will be reached with the French and Portuguese versions. Thank you, Lord God, for the life-changing hope and encouragement this devotional Bible is providing to the women who have received it. Amen.
Deuteronomy 10:1‒22: The covenant is renewed.