The Torah portion "Shofetim" (Judges) calls for the establishment of righteous government in Israel, and particularly a court system for social justice.
Deuteronomy 16:18, 20
You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.
Righteousness, righteousness, you shall pursue!
The central theme of the book of Romans and Galatians is imparted righteousness by faith in Yeshua (Jesus). However, in the Bible, the word righteousness also refers to moral conduct, integrity in business, justice in the courts, and ethical government. Failing to understand the practical aspects of righteousness will lead to spiritual deception.
1 John 3:7
Let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous.
David was chosen by God to be king of Israel, not only because he played the harp and killed Goliath. His heart after God caused him to lead the government in righteousness.
1 Kings 9:4, 15:5
David walked in integrity of heart and in uprightness ...
David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything ... except for the matter of Uriah. One of the reasons that the tribe of Judah was chosen by God was the line of kings who ruled in integrity:
II Chronicles 24:2
- Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
II Chronicles 25:2 - Amaziah did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
II Chronicles 26:4 - Uzziah did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
II Chronicles 27:2 - Yotham did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
II Chronicles 28:1 - Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord.
II Chronicles 29:2 - Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
Moral leadership in government is an important foundation for the kingdom of God; and one that is rare to find. The righteous kings of Israel were the SEED of the coming Messiah. On the image of the kings of Judah, Isaiah had a vision that a greater king would come one day to rule in righteousness:
Isaiah 9:7, 32:1
... upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice.
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice.
Isaiah also prophesied ethical government and moral justice would one day be restored to Jerusalem as the capital city of God's kingdom.
I will restore your judges as at the first, and you shall be called the city of righteousness.
This verse became the basis for the 11th of the 18 daily prayers said five times every day by orthodox Jews. I believe it is God's will to restore righteous government based on Judeo-Christian values in every nation in the world, particularly in Israel. The remnant of faith in every nation is the salt that brings the flavor of those values in their nation. I know a number of young Messianic Jews in Israel who are becoming lawyers, officers in the army, and business entrepreneurs.
A righteous government all over the world will not fully come to pass until Yeshua returns. However we are to pray and work for as much as possible of its fulfillment until that day.
Matthew 6:10, 33
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness.
This past year in Israel there have been an extraordinary number of accusations of corruption, trials of public officials and exposures of crime. I believe that God is purging the government of this corruption and bringing in the fear of God. He is preparing the people with a longing for ethical leadership. People are questioning the basis of the moral values in Israeli society. I give a few examples of current cases in the update below.
Let us pray for righteous government in Israel and in every nation, as we make straight the way for the Lord to return (Isaiah 40:3-4; Luke 3:10-14).
PRAYING FOR RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT IN ISRAEL
- UPDATE -
1. SUPREME COURT'S POWERS
There is a major power struggle between Justice Department Minister, Daniel Friedman, and Supreme Court Chief Justice, Dorit Beinish. Mr. Friedman wants to define and limit the power of the Court Judges, while Ms. Beinish desires to expand the Court's power and autonomy. The question is which direction will bring greater justice.
2. TRAFFIC CRIME
Recently a truck driver from East Jerusalem crashed into the back of a family car on Route 1, killing two and seriously wounding two others. The man already had on file over 195 traffic violations. When arrested, he showed no signs of remorse, even cursing and spitting on bystanders.
3. SENSELESS BEATING
An 80 year old lady was tied up and brutally beaten by robbers in her home in the Pat neighborhood in West Jerusalem, as she cried out, "Take anything you want, but why are you beating me?" The robbers escaped with a few inexpensive jewelry items. The woman was rushed to the hospital.
4. TERROR ATTACK ON FILM
Two months ago, Ahmed Khatib, a Muslim Arab from the Western Galilee town of Kfar Manda, came to the Old City in Jerusalem and trailed after two security guards from Ateret Cohanim yeshiva. He grabbed the gun of one of them from behind. That guard turned and jumped on him. Khatib shot him twice in the struggle. The guard fell to the ground and Khatib fled. The second guard, Alex Nepelvich, chased after him. A gun fight ensued in the narrow alleys - 9 others were wounded by ricochet. Finally Nepelvich succeeded in shooting and killing Khatib. A wave of media protest against Israel (!) followed the incident, claiming that the Zionists had murdered an innocent Palestinian. Amazingly, most of the event was captured on security cameras. The film confirmed the report of the Israeli police as to how the event happened. However, media attacks against Israel continue around the world despite the film.
5. HEPHTSIBA BANKRUPTCY
A multimillion dollar construction company in Israel, called Hephtsiba, recently declared bankruptcy. The chairman of the company, Boaz Yonah, was recently arrested in Italy after fleeing the country in secret, apparently after pocketing millions of dollars paid by families who had signed contracts for Hephtsiba to build their homes. Many of these families are religious Jews. Some of the homes that were under construction were located in the controversial Har Homah neighborhood, on the border between Jewish and Palestinian held areas, between Talpiyot and Bethlehem. Over 500 families have lost the money they spent and remain without homes.
6. KATSAV TRIAL
The long trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katsav remains unresolved, with the Supreme Court intervening to possibly overturn a plea bargaining deal with Katsav. The main plaintiff, "A" turned to the media giving rather gross details of sexual abuse from Katsav. As is often the case in these incidents, there was no other witness to prove which side is telling the truth. "A"'s lawyer, Kineret Barashi, a rather attractive woman who "comes across" on the screen, has recently been offered by one of the television channels a "talk show" slot. The case has become a rallying point for women's activists.
7. LIKUD PRIMARIES
Benjamin Netanyahu, won the primary elections in the Likud party this week with 74% of the vote. Netanyahu is quite popular among Christian Zionists and Messianic Jews. In this primary, Moshe Feiglin's block of ultra orthodox right wing gained 24% of the vote. Feiglin has been outspoken against missionaries, Christian Zionists and Messianic Jews, and has even "accused" Netanyahu for his "friendship" with them. Feiglin's block is problematic for those who would like to see Netanyahu in power.
Please continue to pray for Congregation Ahavat Yeshua, the discipleship training center, ongoing local evangelism, preaching ministry throughout Israel and abroad, our fund for needy believers in Israel, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel and the outreach center in Jerusalem.
Don't miss our weekly update for prayer, teaching and current events in Israel. To receive the update by e-mail, write to: newsletter@revive-Israel.org
Also in this issue of the newsletter:
|Dan Juster: The Afterlife|
|Eitan Shishkoff: A Defining Moment|
|Moshe Morrison: Synagogue Hopping|