God’s Renewing Word of Peace and Justice
Exodus 23:1-13: Today’s reading includes laws that God had commanded Moses to tell the Israelites. God’s concern for justice toward all people, especially the poor and marginalized, is spelled out in this passage of Scripture.
Justice and Fairness
23 “Do not spread false rumors, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony. 2 Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice. 3 Do not show partiality to a poor person at his trial.
4 “If you happen to see your enemy’s cow or donkey running loose, take it back to him. 5 If his donkey has fallen under its load, help him get the donkey to its feet again; don’t just walk off.
6 “Do not deny justice to a poor person when he appears in court. 7 Do not make false accusations, and do not put an innocent person to death, for I will condemn anyone who does such an evil thing. 8 Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe makes people blind to what is right and ruins the cause of those who are innocent.
9 “Do not mistreat a foreigner; you know how it feels to be a foreigner, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
The Seventh Year and the Seventh Day
10 “For six years plant your land and gather in what it produces. 11 But in the seventh year let it rest, and do not harvest anything that grows on it. The poor may eat what grows there, and the wild animals can have what is left. Do the same with your vineyards and your olive trees.
12 “Work six days a week, but do no work on the seventh day, so that your slaves and the foreigners who work for you and even your animals can rest.
13 “Listen to everything that I, the Lord, have said to you. Do not pray to other gods; do not even mention their names.
Today’s Key Verse: Exodus 23:13b
“Do not pray to other gods; do not even mention their names.”
The Laws given by God to Moses were meant to ensure that everyone was treated fairly and with justice. What does today’s reading teach you about justice and fairness? How would you rewrite these laws in your own words, using contemporary examples?
Dear God, help me today to be an instrument of your justice and fairness to everyone I encounter and to speak out for those who are marginalized by society and have no voice. Amen.
And now, join us in praying for the Suriname Bible Society and that country’s flood victims. Lord God, recent heavy rains caused serious flooding in the southern interior region of Suriname, and residents were forced to evacuate and abandon their belongings. Many audio Bibles were lost or damaged and the Suriname Bible Society was unable to conduct business visits in the affected regions. We hold up in prayer those who have been displaced and we pray that the Suriname Bible Society will be able to restore its work and provide comfort and hope to the people through your Word. Amen.
Psalm 7: A prayer for justice.