EXODUS 21:22-23:13 | MATTHEW 24:1-28 | PSALM 29:1-11 | PROVERBS 7:6-23
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Continuing in our reading in the Book of Exodus, we find there is no dearth to the great number of laws that are to govern the Hebrew people; in every aspect of their daily lives, they were to observe specific rules. Frankly, I find much of it quite oppressive. But perhaps viewed from the cultural lens of the time, it wasn’t so strange to have laws concerning the prescribed behavior towards your property and chattel. The few laws that perhaps transcend time and place are these:
6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.
9 “Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.
Turning next to Matthew, we see Jesus speak of the end-times. The signs that are offered are concerning famines, earthquakes, wars and false prophets. Are we living in the end-times right now? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
Jesus says: 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Next, we turn to the Psalms, and find David’s psalm for the day is one in which the magnificent, miraculous and supernatural powers of the Almighty are recognized and celebrated. The mere voice of the Lord causes majestic changes in Nature.
Finally, the passage in Proverbs is that of a young man being ensnared by a crafty woman. I suppose the same might hold true for a young woman who is led astray by a crafty man. We are all guilty of allowing ourselves to be led down the path of deceit and destruction. Sometimes we willfully seek out evil ways; other times, we are led to those evil ways by the urgings of others. Which is worse, I wonder…
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.