Supreme justice: The law
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies… Psalm 119:2
My last article concerned Justice, the platform of peace. This article is about Law, the platform of justice.
God’s Laws are ultimately just. Obedience to them produces a just life and disobedience to them produces just punishments. Exodus 21:23-25 describes the principle behind God’s punitive commandments. “…you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
In the Institutes of Biblical Law, R. J. Rushdoony included a summary of the modes of punishment as listed by H. B. Rand:
1) The death penalty for capital offenses.
2) Whipping from one to forty stripes for minor offenses.
3) In cases of stealing and destruction of another man’s property restitution: to which must be added from one hundred to four hundred percent as punishment.
4) Those who were financially unable to make restitution, or pay the fine, were compelled to contribute their work and labor until the debt had been fully paid.
5) Confinement in a city of refuge for accidental killing.
Oh that my ways may be established to keep Thy statutes. Then I shall not be ashamed when I look upon all Thy commandments. Psalm 119:6
Biblical Law makes no distinction by social or economic status, age, mental condition or capacity, gender or whether the killer is a man or beast, murder requires the death penalty in all instances.
God’s basic legal structure is contained in the Ten Commandments which are recorded in the Twentieth Chapter of Exodus:
1) No other gods before Me.
2) Do not make or worship any graven image.
3) Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.
4) Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy
5) Honor thy father and mother.
6) Do not murder.
7) Do not commit adultery.
8) Do not steal.
9) Do not bear false witness.
10) Do not covet.
I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, when I learn Thy righteous judgments. Psalm 119:7
The death penalty is required for all the following infractions:
1) Murder. (Ex. 21:12-14)
2) Striking or cursing a parent. (Ex. 21:15; Lev. 20:9; Prov. 20:20; Matt. 15:4)
3) Kidnapping. (Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24:7)
4) Adultery. (Lev. 20:10-21)
5) Incest. (Lev. 20:11-12,14)
6) Bestiality. (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16)
7) Sodomy or homosexuality. (Lev. 20:13)
8) Fornication by an unmarried daughter. (Deut. 22:20-21)
9) Rape of a betrothed virgin. (Deut. 22:23-27)
10) Witchcraft. (Ex. 22:18)
11) Offering human sacrifice. (Lev. 20:2)
12) Incorrigible delinquency, habitual criminality. (Deut. 21:18-21)
13) Blasphemy. (Lev.24:11-14,16,23)
14) Sabbath desecration (now suspended). (Ex. 35:2; Num. 15:32-36)
15) Propagation of false doctrines. (Deut. 13:1-10)
16) Sacrificing to false gods. (Ex. 22:20)
17) Refusing to abide by a court decision. (Deut. 17:8-13)
18) Failure to restore a pledge. (Ezek. 18:12,13)
With all my heart I have sought Thee; do not let me wander from Thy Commandments. Psalm 119:10
God did not give these statutes to His Chosen People as onerous ordinances but rather as loving directions that might allow them to create a strong, peaceful, and prosperous society.
The death penalties outlined in God’s legal system are often scoffed at as picayune. This criticism results from a misunderstanding of the purpose God intends for each of His statutes. Serious consideration of the long term results of each of the Laws requiring capital punishment will help one understand them better. God is intent on creating an obedient, peaceful social order that can properly handle personal freedom. His Laws are not only for today but are intended to build a free, obedient and prosperous society in the future. Also, He is concerned that nothing and no one bring alien religions into His flock. Any toleration of an alien religion prepares the social order for another intolerance. United States citizens are beginning to experience this “other intolerance”.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord; teach me Thy Statutes. Psalm 119:12
Following are some brief comments on the Laws requiring capital punishment:
1) Murder is the wanton killing of a person created in God’s own image. Under God’s legal system animals can be killed for any reason without repercussion.
2) Parents are the progenitors of the lives of their children and are intended to be shadows of God in their lives.
3) Kidnapping is the theft of a human being for which the penalty is more severe than the theft of goods.
4) Adultery threatens the family, the basic unit of Godly government.
5) Incest threatens the structure of the family and endangers its genetic future
6 & 7) The purity of the sexual act is important to God since the creation of life here on earth is a shadow of His own initial creation. Bestiality, sodomy and homosexuality are serious distortions.
8 & 9) Rape requires the death penalty for the perpetrator and if the victim fails to resist by crying out she is also deemed guilty and subject to the death penalty. These scriptures speak frequently of the intent to “purge the evil from among you”.
10) Witchcraft introduces a new, evil religion.
11) Human sacrifice not only involves trivializing God’s created being but also introduces an alien religion.
12) Death for incorrigible delinquency and habitual criminality purges the evil from the populace and promises a more obedient society in the future. Under God’s Laws incorrigible teen-age children can suffer the death penalty. This penalty clearly emphasizes the purging of evil.
13) Blasphemy denigrates the One True God and opens the door to rebellion and other religions.
14) Sabbath desecration is no longer applicable.
15 &16) False doctrines and sacrificing to false gods opens the door to alien religions.
17 & 18) Refusing to abide by a court decision and failure to restore a pledge threaten the court system which is God’s agent of justice.
With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Thy mouth. Psalm 119:13
The doctrine of restoration is one of the major benefits of God’s Legal system. Thieves are legally bound to work and repay the amount of their theft up to four times its value. This keeps them out of jail and compensates the victim. The encoding of this legal principle in United States would not only be more just but would save our taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Thieves who rebel against repaying according to court requirements would eventually run up against the capital punishment laws removing their rebellion from society.
As you ponder the pristine nature of these legal standards remember that perfect justice cannot be obtained here on earth; here, mercy holds justice in tension.
Now, gentle reader, consider the legal system under which we now live.
In June, 2002 Representative Ron Paul made a speech before congress in which he outlined in some detail the legal condition of our nation. Read it here.
Give me understanding that I may observe Thy law…. Psalm 119:34
The George W. Bush administration and the congress that works with it with few exceptions are guilty of breaching an oath to support the Constitution. They are moving our nation into despotism by desecrating the Constitution, setting the legal basis for martial law, exporting our jobs and our wealth, and miring us in foreign wars. They are guilty of treason against the nation and treason against God. Read about current legislation here.
So I will keep Thy law continually forever and ever and I will walk at liberty for I seek Thy precepts. Psalm 119: 44-45
During the Twentieth Century governments that have encoded despotic legal systems similar to that of the Bush administration were guilty of murdering hundreds of millions of their own citizens. These murders were arbitrarily conducted with neither legal nor moral support.
Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked who forsake Thy law. Psalm 119:53
In the 51st Psalm, King David confessed that he had sinned against God, God only. In the United States all infractions of the law are considered to be against the state. Consequently, victims of theft under our legal system are twice abused. If their money is stolen and spent, they lose their money; they are proportionally taxed to pay the policemen for arresting the criminal, and to cover their portion of the costs of prosecuting, convicting, and imprisoning him. The crime is not against them but against the state!
May Thy compassion come to me that I may live, for the law is my delight. Psalm 119:77
When and if a murderer is apprehended and convicted, he may be sentenced to substantial time in jail or in some cases a death sentence might take over a decade to be carried out. The victim’s family might be allowed to vent some of their emotions at trials end but as with all victims in our legal system they share proportionally in the cost of processing the guilty party. God’s Law requires two witnesses for a death sentence and the sentence could be carried out by the victim’s family.
The arrogant have dug pits for me, men who are not in accord with Thy law. Psalm 119:85
Jails and solitary confinement are forms of torture. Under God’s Laws, properly enforced, there would be little need for jails. The requirement that children honor, respect, and obey their parents would nip potential criminals in the bud, not allowing them to disrupt the social order as adults.
Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies… Psalm 119:98
It is time for our citizens to think about alternative legal standards. Our prisons are hell holes where young men sentenced for nonviolent crimes can be subjected to terror and violent rape at the hands of prison gangs and bullies. As Representative Ron Paul states in his 2002 address, “Over 80,000 federal bureaucrats now carry guns to make us toe the line and to enforce the thousands of laws and tens of thousands of regulations that no one can possibly understand.”
Thou hast rejected all those who wander from Thy statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless. Psalm 119:118
The State has been usurping the Throne of God for so long that the wisdom behind God’s relatively simple commandments is repulsive to many United States citizens including most Christians. It is time to reconsider.
It is time for the Lord to act, for they have broken Thy law. Psalm 119:126
P. S. Rousas J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume I, provided the basis for this essay.
P. S. S. Most United States Christians have failed to comprehend God’s heavy emphasis on Divine selection and obedience to The Law. There is heavy emphasis on obedience to God’s Laws all through the Bible but a reading of Psalm 119 should help anyone understand. Also, all through His Word God selects His key people; they do not select Him.
THOUGHTS ON JUSTICE – THE PLATFORM OF PEACE
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”