Exodus 23:1-13 – Justice

Read Exodus 23:1-13

God is our final judge. He makes the rules and enforces them. Our obedience should be to God alone. We may not ever see all of the “rulings” he makes, and that’s okay. God is God, and we are not. When people ask me something about God’s law or his desire for us, I can point to Scripture, but ultimately, God decides and has the final say. Suffice it to say God is faithful and just.

There are some interesting reminders in today’s reading. What ones resonated most with you? We see God doesn’t like gossiping, peer pressure, accusing the innocent, bribery, or oppression of foreigners. He wants us to rest on the 7th day and let our fields rest during the 7th year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe farmers today still do this to help maximize yield in their crops.

As a foreigner living in Mexico, I am thankful for this protection. I do feel safe here. There is evil lurking everywhere. We must be vigilant no matter where we live. I remember visiting the U.S. last year after one of the many mass shootings, and I was keeping my eyes open at all times when in public. God doesn’t mean for us to live in fear.

Sad to say, the one that really resonated with me was the one about gossip. It seems like it runs rampant. It saddens me that people don’t have enough to keep them busy so they have to talk about other people. What’s a good definition of gossip? Talking about the personal business or affairs of other people when you are not involved in the story. People do it all the time. Many times it is destructive because what is being repeated is untrue and only a rumor. I’ve seen relationships end or be seriously bruised by such behavior. I’ve seen feelings hurt and trust demolished. We need to watch our tongues.

God also makes it clear he wants our devotion. “Pay close attention to all my instructions. You must not call on the name of any other gods. Do not even speak their names.” God’s instructions are for our own good. They are not meant to harm us but to equip us.

Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for your wisdom and how you share it with us in your Word. Help me to see and understand the message you have for me. Equip me for leadership. Cleanse my heart of all negative feelings that hold me back and cause me to be blinded to the beauty around me. Thank you for your love and care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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