Exodus 22 – America, Take Heed

Exodus 22 Bible with Theo Orange 70 percent Dark Chocolate

Today’s ChocolateTheo Orange 70% Dark Chocolate

Today’s PassageExodus 22

Oh, thank God there’s no mention of slaves in this one.

In today’s chapter, God continues giving the laws. Much of the chapter is in the third person, a series of normative propositions concerning property damage and livestock, all delivered in ancient legalese. If it comes off as dry, that’s because it’s supposed to be; God intends it to specify and clarify who is culpable for damages in certain situations. But then, at verse 21, the tone changes.

Because this is where God gets personally involved. He commands his people, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (21), adding, “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan” (22). As he has elsewhere in the Bible, time and time again, God goes to bat for strangers, widows, and orphans. He vows: “If you afflict him at all…My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword” (23-24). That’s not a threat; it’s a promise. Well, okay, it is technically also a threat.

But the point remains: the poor are important to God. He promises to be gracious to them and violent to their oppressors. He personally invests himself in the well-being of the vulnerable and the disenfranchised. And if you wrong foreigners, widows, orphans, the poor? I’d say heaven help you, but heaven won’t help you. America, take heed.

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