Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Exodus 23:1-9 (NRSV)
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.
When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.
You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
As I read this scripture, it occurred to me that most of these laws are broken regularly in today’s society. When I was in high school, I was highly involved in the National Future Farmers of America, especially in the showing of cattle. Unfortunately, it was and still is very common for cattle breeders to lie about the birth date of cattle so that they can have a better chance of winning. I remember discussing this problem with my family. My mother replied, “Well, we’re not going to hell over a cow show.” In other words, we would be honest in our dealings.
In today’s society, it seems that doing whatever is necessary to succeed is not only acceptable, but expected. How many times have we heard sayings like: “Do whatever you have to do to get ahead”? The above scripture passage reminds us that as Christians we are called to put ourselves last rather than first and help not only those in need, but those who are our enemies. This behavior is totally opposite of society’s view.
My challenge to you is to read this scripture to your children or grandchildren this week and remind them that Christians are called to different standards, God’s standards.
Dear Lord, give us the strength and compassion to follow the path that you have set before us. Give us the resolve to live in a society that is often in opposition to how you have called us to live. Help us to reach out and serve those who are in need and those who are our enemies. Amen.
Go with God.