“You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.”
— Deuteronomy 16:19
After God freed the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, God created a new human government and commanded that judges and officials be appointed to “render just decisions for the people” (Deuteronomy 16:18). In accordance with the laws of God, God wanted these leaders to help His people learn to govern themselves so they would have the inner resources to restrain themselves from wrongdoing and the wisdom to serve others in ways that would benefit everyone. The greatest leaders of God's people ruled according to God's laws, though they did not always do so perfectly. They did not distort justice, show partiality or take bribes. The Hebrew people admired and trusted these great national leaders because of their loyalty to God.
The signs a government has become corrupt, decadent and godless include the obvious distortion of justice by leaders and officials appointed or elected to uphold just laws — laws consistent with the revealed will of God in the Bible. A government with leaders acting contrary to the laws of God will show partiality to rich people, or to poor people, or to people of their own political party, or to people from whom they hope to profit in some way. People who have turned their backs on God will tell lies about others and distort or exaggerate the supposed flaws of those with whom they disagree. If they do not believe their leaders will do what is right, those who want to live right will not have confidence in those making decisions in their government.
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