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Oh To Be Wise Meditations

Laws of social justice. Can you imagine hearing Gods law for the first time like Israel did? The people saw the lightning and the smoke from the mountain. They heard the loud roar from the thunder. And then they heard the trumpet’s sound. So they trembled with fear. And they stayed away from the mountain. Then they spoke to Moses. ‘You speak to us and we will listen’, they said to him. ‘But do not let God speak to us. If God speaks to us, we will certainly die. God came to test them and wanted Israel to respect him. This so they would not continue to sin, but the people remained distance. Only Moses approached the dense darkness where God was. To be afraid of God is when we really respect God. We understand that he is completely holy, completely pure and completely clean. Isaiah realized that God is like that (Isaiah 6:3-5). This kind of fear should help us to desire good things. It should help us not to sin. There is a connection between God’s 10 commandments and the books of Torah. They help explain the practical ways to obey the 10 commandments. Lets start with some laws of social justice with the 10 commandments as our base. Look at Ex. 22:16-31:

v16 ‘Suppose that a young woman has never married. And she has not promised to marry anyone. Suppose that she meets a man. And he persuades her to have sex with him. Then he must pay to her father the price for a bride. And he must marry her. v17 But suppose that her father refuses to give her to him. Still the man must pay the price for a bride for her.’

v18 ‘There are women who use evil magic. Do not allow that kind of woman to remain alive.’

v19 ‘And you must kill anyone who has sex with an animal.’

v20 ‘You must kill anyone who gives gifts to any other god. I am the *LORD and you must *worship me only.’

v21 ‘You must not behave badly towards strangers. You must not be cruel to them. Remember that you were strangers in Egypt.’

v22 ‘Do not be cruel to a widow. And do not be cruel to a child whose father has died. v23 If you are cruel to them, they will cry to me for help. And certainly I will hear them. v24 Then I will become very angry, and I will kill those men. So your wives will become widows and your children will have no fathers.’

v25 ‘Perhaps you will lend money to someone among my people who needs it. Do not be like the usual people who lend money. Do not charge the man extra money for the loan. v26 Perhaps you will take your neighbor's coat as his promise to pay back the money to you. You must give back the coat to him by sunset. v27 He may be very poor. So he has only this coat to sleep under at night. When he cries out to me, I will listen. And I will help him, because I pity him.’

v28 ‘Do not insult me, I am God. Do not say bad things about the ruler of your people.’

v29 ‘You must give your gifts to me. You must give to me what belongs to me from your corn and wine. You must give to me the oldest of your sons too. v30 You must give to me the animals that are the first to be born to your cows. And the animals that are the first to be born to your sheep. Let them remain with their mothers for 7 days. But on day 8 you must give them to me.’

v31 ‘I have chosen you to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat from any animal that wild animals have killed. Throw that meat to your domestic animals and they can eat it.’

God wanted all the Israelites to serve him as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:6). They were a nation that was God’s special nation. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Disobedience to God and the law was like treason punishable unto death. Laws of social justice today should reflect Gods holy standards and morals. We should take seriously sin and death within our midst. Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. We must obey God rather than men. Pray for governments to take what The LORD calls sin seriously and bring justice. When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. Laws of social justice are needed to today. Ask the LORD Jesus how we can honor Him by honoring others.


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