My Holy People
Holy God, by Your Spirit, nourish my mind with new truth from Your Word as I read it now.
Read Exodus 22:16-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see” (William D. Longstaff, 1822-1894).
God’s laws paint a picture of the kind of society that will exist under God’s rule. Israel was to be different from other nations because they had God’s laws and guidance. God’s intention is clear: “You are to be my holy people” (31). First, there are some things that are totally unacceptable: sorcery, sexual perversions, and idolatry—the seriousness of these sins is underlined by the capital punishment prescribed for offenders (18-20). Second, this godly society is characterized by the kind and compassionate way with which it treats strangers and the marginalized, such as widows and orphans who were often left in desperate circumstances when the breadwinner died. Such people are to be treated with kindness (21-24). God hates to see such unfortunate people mistreated and taken advantage of. Compassion should be the very fabric of the godly society, for God himself is compassionate (27).
This compassion must be part of daily living and be seen in the way we treat others. One should lend money without charging interest (25), for there can be great abuse in that. When a neighbor’s cloak is taken as a pledge, it must be returned to him when evening arrives, for he needs it to protect himself from the coldness of the night (26,27). The point is that in economic transactions and arrangements, people’s essential needs are a priority. This poses a challenge for us living in a freewheeling, global economy that leaves behind many, especially in developing countries, to live without homes, safe drinking water, and basic healthcare. What difference can we make as churches and individuals? As you look at people around you, how can you help create a pocket of the kind of godly society envisaged in Scripture?
Can you treat someone more kindly and compassionately today? Are there voiceless people who need your voice?
Mighty God, may I be truly centered on Jesus, so that I can effectively demonstrate the difference that You make in my life.