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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Daily Devotional | Fear and Justice

Have you ever heard a political candidate on the campaign trail? Or seen a video of one on TV? Sometimes it seems like they will say anything to get elected! In today’s reading, King Jehoshaphat was on the “campaign trail” for a nobler purpose: 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” (v. 4).

Leading a spiritual revival didn’t come easy. The king had to work at it! Part of what he did was to appoint civil officials, including judges and administrators, with the goal of nurturing the revival and keeping the nation close to the Lord. To reach this goal required godly leaders. When the king selected judges, he admonished them: “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” (vv. 5–7). Oftentimes, then and now, power is used in corrupt ways to benefit oneself rather than others. To resist this temptation, the new judges needed the fear of the Lord. They represented Him and would be held accountable by Him.

Similarly, when the king appointed administrators in Jerusalem, he told them: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD” (vv. 8–10). Again, they were not to use their power and authority to enrich themselves, but instead to faithfully serve God’s people. They should seek justice and righteousness and guard against sin in all matters, or risk God’s wrath. Presumably these new leaders shared the king’s vision for spiritual revival.

Despite being the king, Jehoshaphat did not claim total authority, but rather made it clear to his officials that the chief priest would oversee religious matters (v. 11).

Go Deeper

Do we think of justice in association with partiality or favoritism (see James 2:1–4)? Modern English uses these terms somewhat differently. How and why does the Bible connect them?

Pray with Us: Lord, we like to think of You as a God of love and mercy. May we never forget that You are also a God of justice! You punish sin and avenge the injustice! We come to You today, our Creator, in awe, reverence, and fear.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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