Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:1-31, Exodus 23:1-19, Proverbs 31:8-9, 1 Corinthians 10:24
I have learned a lot about honesty and justice from having a roommate. First of all, it doesn’t matter what city you live in, how many people you live with, or the closeness of your friendship, sharing a bathroom is not fun. One of the largest offenses you can make as a roommate is stealing all the hot water from the shower, closely followed by leaving your wet laundry in the washing machine, your dirty dishes in the sink, or refusing to take out the trash.
Trying to live peacefully in a house full of sleep walkers, gum chewers, and late-into-the-night phone talkers gives you a fresh taste of the sinful (and sometimes gross) nature of humanity. The best thing you can do to navigate the awkwardness of shared living is to establish some house rules. For example, my current roommate’s responsibilities include mice and anything furry, while my expertise includes bugs and anything slimy. If we use up the last roll of paper towels or eat the last piece of chocolate, we replace them. The list can go on and on, but the longer it gets, it becomes less about individual actions, and more about the type of home we want to live in.
The same is true in Exodus 22 and 23, as we find one statement after another regarding things the people of God should or shouldn’t do, and when or how they should do them. It’s a long list, but those two whole chapters can be summed up in four words: “Be my holy people” (Exodus 22:31).
You see, issues like honesty and justice are tough to discern on their own, much less when combined with a temporary world that guarantees brokenness and imperfection. Yet, God teaches us that honesty and justice are foundational to the shoring up of our earthly homes.
When you read these two chapters, consider that each sentence is revealing something about God’s heart for His people. He has already paid our debt, given us a listening ear, granted us forgiveness, and fully satisfied our hearts. God’s heart is for restoration and redemption, and the vehicles He uses are honesty and justice.
Speak up for those who have no voice,
for the justice of all who are dispossessed
Speak up, judge righteously,
and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.
Thank the Lord, for He is honest and just. Amen.