Scripture References:
Deut 6; 7:7-11; 10:12-11:28; 15:1-17; 16:18-20; 17:14-20; and 18:15-19

In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses provides the Hebrew people with a vision for God’s kingdom that extends far beyond religious observance in the narrow sense. Here we discover a detailed and challenging vision for political and economic affairs that clearly agitates us as we contrast God’s vision to the world as it is today.

Particularly, we encourage clergy to reflect on God’s challenge to political leaders to ensure that justice be impartially administered for all:

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice ; you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice and only justice you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Deuteronomy 16: 18-20

We also encourage clergy to reflect on the profound implications of the economic system presented in Deuteronomy for the City of God, which commands the remittance of debts and sets a clear expectation that all will be cared for:

“Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed… There will however be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy, if only you will obey the Lord your God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today.”

For further study on the theme of the City of God, we encourage you to attend a local DART “Rethinking Justice Workshop” and reading Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies for Making a Difference in Your Community by Rev. Robert Linthicum.