"I am gracious..." Exodus 22:27
Two weeks ago, I was in the home of a friend. On her wall she had a list of things one should follow if one wanted to have a "good life." The last thing on the list was something like "follow the Golden Rule."
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Figuring out what is right, good and fair is always easier if we put ourselves in the other person's situation.
Today, our reading is all about moral code. A moral code's purpose is to flesh out how to live peaceably in a community. The rules about oxen and thievery in this moral code in Exodus can all be translated to modern day situations.
Though these codes might seem archaic, I loved reading them. [I had a little trouble with the code about virgins, but that is for another day!]
The piece I loved the best, though, was in the beginning of chapter 23 which dealt with evil crowds, those in poverty and how to treat an enemy. My heart swelled with admiration as I read these words of righteousness. What an amazing inheritance of graciousness!
Do not join yourself to maliciousness.
Do not pervert justice, even for the poor.
Lend a helping hand, even when, and perhaps, especially when, it involves your enemy's misfortune.
Now I must tell you, I love to watch dramatic movies. I am always on the look out for a true hero. For me, a true hero is one who never sacrifices righteous integrity to reach his or her goal. This kind of witness makes my heart swell with admiration.
Each of us has a moral code by which we live. We might not remember from whence it came. We might not even be able to articulate its breadth, but it might be a good exercise to sit down someday and write out a list of values we hold which demonstrate our inheritance of graciousness.
Today, I want to accept my inheritance of grace.
I don't want to ever be found in the midst of a malicious act or crowd, even if it means I must stand alone.
I would hope that I would never be in the position of judge, but if I am, may I not pervert justice because of pity or favoritism.
And LORD, allow me to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me.
Once again, this is enough for me to consider and act upon today.