The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 20 September 2022 – Respecting Humanity
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TOPIC: Respecting Humanity
READ: Exodus 22:16-31(NKJV)
” If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her [to be] his wife.“If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins.” You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.” He who sacrifices to [any] god, except to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.“If you afflict them in any way, [and] they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry;“and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” If you lend money to [any of] My people [who are] poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.“If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down.“For that [is] his only covering, it [is] his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I [am] gracious.” You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” You shall not delay [to offer] the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.“Likewise you shall do with your oxen [and] your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.” And you shall be holy men to Me: you shall not eat meat torn [by beasts] in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.
These series of miscellaneous laws in today’s text reveal God’s concern for humanity and His desire that people be not exploited. These include virgins (verses 16-17, see Deuteronomy 22:23-24), foreigners in the land (verse 21), widows (verses 22-24), and the poor (verses 25-27). God promises to hear the cries of those who are wronged and defend the poor and oppressed. We must take care of the oppressed and vulnerable in the society especially in the Church.
This is what James calls true religion (James 1:27). On the other hand, witches and wizards were not permitted to live because they operated with the demonic powers that operated in the god-less religions of the nations around Israel. (See Leviticus 19:31; 20:27 & Deuteronomy 18:9-12). Modern occult practices are an invitation for Satan to destroy lives. These are abhorred by God and have severe consequences. Furthermore, we are to respect rulers and refrain from cursing them, even as we would refrain from cursing God. According to Romans 13, rulers are ordained by God. If we curse a leader, we are in danger of cursing the God who established the authority of human government. Finally, we have to give our hearts to obeying the law of God.
PRAYER: O Lord, grant me the zeal to obey Your laws at all times in Jesus’ name, Amen.