Judge Kavanaugh, the 9th Commandment, and Eternal Justice.
By Pastor Eric Anderson
Exodus 20:16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
This hearing for Judge Kavanaugh, set to be the next justice in the highest earthly court in the USA, should disturb us as human beings, and as the Redeemed in Christ.
We believe in God. We believe that He is the eternal judge. Therefore, all crimes against humanity which are first and foremost sins against God, He will deal with in the end. For He sees all and knows all and His standard is perfect (Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19)
Therefore, Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford may be guilty before God of sexual immorality drunkenness or a host of other sins. He will deal with them justly.
So, why is this a travesty for our nation? Because the Bible also speaks of how to apply the ten commandments. Deuteronomy speaks of the need for witness to establish as much objectivity as possible in front of judges. When a crime is committed without witnesses, the guilty will not go free. He or she will face God for his sins against God and men, someday. Yet, he or she cannot be prosecuted in human courts today or (most-likely), in this lifetime. A justice system cannot be upheld by “he said/she said.”
Deuteronomy 19:15-21 A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. 16 If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, 17 then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days.18 The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. 20 And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. 21 Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
God is Just and we are called to speak the Truth, as objectively as possible. The 9th Commandment frames lying, exaggerating and deceit as a form of stealing and judicial injustice. A false witness could not only exonerate the guilty, but falsely punish the innocent. But more, the whole of the system of justice could be upended and untrustworthy. When this happens,chaos erupts and human suffering increases.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Matthew 18 affirms this process for conflict within the church. Matthew 18:15-20 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
We call this Biblical peacemaking. The Witness two or three others helps to calm emotions, make sure each side is heard and to separate real sin from hurt feelings, mis-understanding, or worse, false accusations. We are to correct and rebuke when needed, not only for the person sinning, but for the one who maligned another s character through accusation, slander and hinting. We are to steward others character and their right to be treated without partiality (Exodus 20:17)
In Fact, so serious are we to be about protecting another’s reputation that Paul says: Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (I Timothy 5:19)
Why? The church is to be a safe place for brethren to dwell in unity. Truth and mercy to be offered, for individuals of all backgrounds to worship God and fellowship together.
Satan loves to deceive. People demand justice on their terms. Revenge is what I do when I am so offended I take matters into my own hands. I punish, kill and murder–maybe not your body, but your character to the eyes of the “hurt feelings court” (James 4)
Our nation’s judicial process was formed by Scripture…or, at least laws and equitable principals derived from Scripture. This is why we have a statue of limitations, and why a police report needs to be filed. Without witnesses, a person’s memory can change over time, since other events affects our recounting with accuracy. We have heard how a person’s psyche can be manipulated to assign past injustice to explain present depression and suffering (Freud)
We should presume self-serving and political motivations in most everything. This is why we have laws and courts of law: To protect against human fallen-ness and sinfulness, from ourselves and our worst tendencies. Whatever happened 35 years ago, it cannot be used to malign a person today, if it’s validity wasn’t established during a reasonably time afterwards. A person’s reputation since should be taken into account. Does that mean sexual immorality and drunkenness in the teen years are to be seen as innocent? No. Immature, yes, from a human perspective. But innocent in the eyes of God: no!
I have seen first-hand what the “hurt feelings” police and justice system will do. It will be impossible to establish truth, when both parties are at odds and stick to their story, if there is no other witnesses or objective evidence. This should not be. Only people who do not fear the Lord would see the Kavanaugh hearing as a good thing. People who reject what God Word declare, will demand all their idea of justice in this life…for they have nowhere to confess their guilt or pain.
It is of course, very sad if Dr. Ford was assaulted at the hands of Judge Kavanaugh. In that case it is lamentable if Judge Kavanaugh goes free. But the injustice is only temporal. If her (Dr. Ford’s) hope is in the Lord, She can know that justice will be paid, eventually, for her sins have been paid for already. And if Judge Kavanaugh is innocent of this charge and his faith in in the Lord, he can know that He will be exonerated in the end. But it only matters if the entirety of his sins have been forgiven by God through Christ.
As Christians we know firsthand that the mercy God gives us is not based upon our innocence but out Guilt. That Jesus Christ Justly paid for every sin, public and private. Blood guilt was paid We live with sure hope that when we stand before God…our advocate will declare “Not Guilty” Sin paid for. Justice Done, Mercy Granted. All is at peace here.
Deuteronomy 21:1-8 “If in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him, 2 then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities. 3 And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke. 4 And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled. 6 And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, 7 and they shall testify, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed. 8 Accept atonement, O Lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.’
Finally and therefore, we can live with the knowledge that sometimes the guilty escape the justice of human courts,.. but never God’s court.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
This is why Scripture says that we can have peace for some matters for which we will get no reciprocity because we are submitting to the future justice of God.