Friday, March 25, 2022

God's Law: Don't Follow the Crowd

Exodus Chapter 23
2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

Have you ever heard the term "circling the wagons"? It came from the experience early settlers had in the 1800s. They all travelled in "wagon trains". This was a long line of wagons, in which many settlers travelled together because there was safety in numbers. At night, they would park all of the wagons in a circle and sleep inside the circle in order to protect the settlers.

Today, when someone in a group gets into trouble, everyone else in the same group tends to come to their rescue. This is called "circling the wagons".

If a little old lady on your street gets into trouble, everyone on your street who knows her would be likely to unite together to help her out. This is human nature.

When you go out to eat with your family, and a member of the wait staff has a problem with one person at the table, whether or not it was warranted, the whole family will defend that one person against the establishment. That is something I learned during my time of service in food establishments.

However, what happens if the little old lady did something bad or underhanded? The fact that she is a little old lady that everyone loves does not give anyone permission to defend her for her transgressions. If she has sinned, she still needs to pay the consesquences for that sin.

And, just because someone is poor does not mean that he should be exempt from paying the consequences of his crime if it is costly!

God gives us all everything we have. He knows what we need and how much we can afford. If we trust Him, He will provide. The key is to trust Him. We are not trusting God if we feel sorry for a criminal because he is poor, or if we take the side of someone familiar just because it is painful to watch them suffer for their crimes.

Furthermore, just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you should follow them. My mother used to ask, "If everyone else jumped off the roof, would you?" Just because everyone else is doing something doesn't make it right or lawful.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

God's Law: Do not Commit Character Assassination

Exodus 23:1
“Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”

I don't care how mad you get at someone, you are not supposed to lie about their character or their actions to make yourself look good, or to get revenge.

This is called "character assassination".

This is also why it is wrong to gossip about other people. You could be spreading falsehoods that make life harder for them if they are already struggling.

Not to mention, it is also illegal in court to lie on the witness stand about someone.

It is also a sin to conspire with others to ruin someone's character in such manner.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

God's Laws: Dead Animals

Exodus 22:31
“And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.”

You are driving along the highway when you see a deer that was recently killed on the road ahead. You think, "What a waste! Why didn't they take it home?"

Road kill can be considered to be "flesh that is torn of beasts in the field".

Granted, the "beast" was a car; but the premise is the same.

Now days, you are more apt to find fresh road kill than fresh meat lying around on trails through the woods. However, even if you do, the verse still stands.

Just pull it off the road and leave it for other animals to pick from. It's ground meat can be processed and used as dog food if the dead animal is found fresh enough.

Oh, and don't touch the carcass with your bare hands. (Leviticus 11)

Sunday, March 13, 2022

God's Laws: Give God the First of Everything

Exodus Chapter 22

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

The first of all you create, make or produce belongs to God. After all, had He not given you the means with which to obtain it, you would not have it. Therefore, you honor God by offering it back to him.

As a taxi driver/courier, I struggled with how I am supposed to do this. What do I produce? And, the only thing I can come up with is money.

Therefore, the very first trip I make from here on out goes into my "God account" to be invested until such time as the Good Lord tells me I need it to help someone in need that He calls me to give to.

For you, it might be the first meal you serve, the first tip you make, the first hour of pay you receive for the week...

This verse clearly states that the first of it belongs to the Lord.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

God's Laws: Don't Curse Other Gods Or Your Rulers

Exodus 22:28

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

The definition of revile is criticize in an abusive or angrily insulting manner.

The definition of curse is an offensive word or phrase used to express anger or annoyance. It could also, in this case, mean a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one.

This verse has two parts that you must pay attention to: A) treatment of other gods (with a little "g" - which means other people's belief in them, since they are not God), and B) treatment of your political leaders.

Think about this: if we walked up to someone who was a buddhist and started uttering offensive language and ridiculing the belief he has for Buddha, do you think they would be receptive to us when we told them that our God was better because He loved them? No. We lead by example. We show them love, and when they compliment our love, we tell them WHY we love so well. You cannot teach about a God of love while practicing hatred.

The second part of this is a little harder for some of us. (I'll admit, I'm guilty).

The reason some people hate the Bible is because it standardizes behavior. It lays the law down in black and white, and when we learn the law, we become "not innocent" any more -- guilty; or, for lack of a better word, convicted. Here, it clearly states that we must not curse our rulers.

What this means to us, here in the United States, is that we are not supposed to post memes on Facebook that call Joe Biden an idiot. We are not to tell the world what we wish would happen to him. We are not to pray to God to punish him in any way.

What this does NOT mean, however, is that we cannot still ask hard questions, or that we cannot still say that we don't believe as he does and why. It doesn't mean that we cannot form alliances or vote against him. It doesn't mean we cannot disagree with him or what he is doing. It doesn't mean that we don't post the facts and educate others to the err of his ways. What it means is that we still have to treat him with love and pray that God leads him onto a righteous path, for all of our sake.

Yes, I'll admit: I, like many of you, am guilty of breaking this law. And, now, having seen the law, I am convicted and will henceforth endeavor to change my ways.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

God's Laws: Lending Money

Exodus Chapter 22

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:
27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

When you loan money to someone, it is because they are in need. It should always be considered a charity.

You should never loan money that you expect to get back. You are not a bank. You should not take usury (interest payment) for the loan, and you should never accept collateral that is needed by the lender in order to survive and make a living.

God protects the poor and needy as well as He blesses the well-off. You only have because God gave it to you. Remember that.

God will not stand by and watch as His children are taken advantage of or used for profit. A man's worth is not his money, in God's eyes.