“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.” (Exodus 6:6-8/NIV).
This is Old Testament law. This is the word of God to his people the Israelites.
Many years after these commandments were given Paul has said that love would be the fulfilment of the law. (Cf. Romans 13:8). As you look at the verses quoted above you can easily imagine that a leader or a judge guided by love would not do the things forbidden here.
Contrarily somebody seeking selfish gain and advantages may decide not to respect the legitimate rights of a poor person. A pauper would not have much power to resist him. As a rule poor people don’t have a large following to support them when in trouble.
People guided by motives other than love might even find reason to falsely accuse innocent persons. Maybe some would do such a thing to divert attention from themselves and their own wrongdoing.
Those who primarily seek to accumulate wealth and riches may tend to accept or demand bribes. They won’t do anything for you unless you give them some extra money beyond the revenues they receive anyway.
They will think that nobody cares about them speaking unjust verdicts on behalf of those who appropriately bribe them. Yet here we learn that God himself does care.
Why am I writing all this today? As you can gather from my new category I am now dealing with verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 13: Love “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
To be honest I would not have thought of truth as the opposite of iniquity. To me, truth is the opposite of lies and iniquity is the opposite of justice. So what to make of these words of the apostle?
Then I began to think of a lawsuit. Here a judge or a moderator might ‘rejoice in iniquity’ as he is seeking selfish gain. Others might violate rules of justice on behalf of some ideological viewpoints.
Yet a loving judge would not do so. He will look upon a poor person or somebody who has been accused with loving eyes. He will seek and respect the truth. He will rejoice when finding out what actually has happened.