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Judicial Jehoshaphat

Having just returned from an ill-fated alliance with Ahab, king of Israel; Jehoshaphat, king of Judah finds himself confronted by the prophet of God over his alignment with the wicked (now deceased ) Ahab. The charge was simple, to the point: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you." (2 Chronicles 19:1).

In response to this rebuke, Jehoshaphat does something very unexpected- he re-aligns himself with the priorities of God. Specifically, he pursues judicial reform throughout the kingdom of Judah:

2 Chronicles 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”

When it comes to human courts, justice is dispensed to the degree that judges ascibe to God's own Law. When this fails to happen, injustice rules and society is degraded. When this principle is observed, justice reigns and God and man are both elevated.

Today, our courts are guided not by God's Law, but by "case law" theory first introduced into the Harvard Law School by Christopher Columbus Langdell in 1870.

Christopher Columbus Langdell

This flawed approach found its basis in a very popular notion of his day- evolution. Thinking that there was no such thing as "absolute truth" (i.e. God's Law), it taught that all human law was subject to the ever changing opinion of the day.

This philosophy has been incredibly damaging to our nation for more than a century. It has led to injustice and biased, evil rulings in our own judicial system. Forgetting that a judge rules in the stead of God Himself, too many judges today simply moisten their finger and hold it to the wind in making their judgments.

The solution for this terrible predicament is found in the reaction of Jehoshaphat to the Lord's rebuke- humble re-alignment with the will and word of God.

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