Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 24 of Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 23 (NRSV)

Bribes are still a major roadblock for
justice in the 21st century.
Jesus's words that we should love our enemies didn't come out of thin air.  We see the law continue to be put forth in today's reading and we are mindful when dealing with those we don't like.

In seeing the livestock of an estranged neighbor roaming freely, the easier thing to do is to look the other way.  But the law of God tells us that we are to take it back.

How the early Hebrews defined their neighbor was, however, different from when Jesus expanded the understanding with the parable of the Good Samaritan.  An enemy in this instance would be a person within your community - a fellow Hebrew - with whom you disagreed.

We see that the foreign nationals like the Amorites and the Hittites will be wiped out as the Israelites seek to settle the land.  There is no consideration for their animals when they are encountered.

They are not to co-mingle with the Israelites but at the same time, verse 9 reminds us not to oppress the alien among us.

The difference in the early days was their competing worldview.  They had philosophies that came through their worship of their gods which muted the laws that God sought to impose.  Their new community may have been too fragile to withstand too many alternative practices.

As verse 33 concludes, the worship of other gods, "will be a snare to you."

In today's world, there is much that would capture our loyalties.  What do you suppose could be a snare to you today?

Photo by nist6dh via Flickr.com, used by permission under the Creative Commons license.  

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