Friday, February 6, 2009
Justice - And God's Promises
I love to watch CSI. And the FBI Files. And Snapped. And several other programs like them. Why? Well, they are supposed to be true. And they always deal with a person doing something terribly wrong and trying to get away with it. Like murdering somebody. And you always know that if the story made the show, it is going to turn out OK in the end. And I like to see how our justice system works. I think every person, and every culture, has an inbuilt sense of justice, and right and wrong.
The chapters today deal with justice. There are a lot of things that get the death penalty. Like striking your parents, for example. As I reflected on that, it occur ed to me that they could not have a jail as they wandered in tents in the desert, so the folks that were not living up to the code of being a good neighbor got bumped off and were buried in the sand.
There is also great care to not have any stealing. If you stole, you had to pay back twice as much. That would make you think twice. (Ha!Ha! that was a pun and I didn't even mean to do it!!!) So God wanted a society where people took care of each other, were good to each other, and did not take advantage of others.
At the end of the laws, God gives them a great promise...
"Now get yourselves ready. I'm sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I've prepared. Pay close attention to him. Obey him. Don't go against him. He won't put up with your rebellions because he's acting on my authority. But if you obey him and do everything I tell you, I'll be an enemy to your enemies, I'll fight those who fight you. When my Angel goes ahead of you and leads you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, I'll clear the country of them. So don't worship or serve their gods; don't do anything they do because I'm going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits.
"But you—you serve your God and he'll bless your food and your water. I'll get rid of the sickness among you; there won't be any miscarriages nor barren women in your land. I'll make sure you live full and complete lives." (Exodus 23:20-26)
What a great relationship! Obey God. Be good to your neighbor. And God will protect you, bless you, keep you healthy, and help you live a full and complete life.
I'll sign up for that!
*If you are just joining us, I am reading through the Bible this year off of www.Biblegateway.com using the chronological sequence, and in the version called "The Message."