I’m reading through the Mosaic law lately, trudging through these statues and commandments that would define Israel as the people of God.
While there are a number of things that I don’t understand, I still am able to pick up some themes along the way. One of those themes is the theme of justice as it relates to God’s people. It seems to me that throughout the entire Mosaic law, God had instituted legal provision to support those who are less fortunate in society, and God’s people would be the ones who were expected to give that provision.
Check out these passages:
Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen’. Deut 27:19
“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. Ex 22:21
“And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” Lev 19:10
“But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—” Deut 15:4
“You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. Deut 24:4
You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. Ex 22:22
“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” Deut 24:19
Over and over again, God is revealed as one who “executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deut 10:18). He loves the maligned and cares for them.
And in his law he is drawing our attention to what is gripping his–the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the sojourner.
This theme of God expecting his people to operate in justice is throughout the scriptures, from the start to the end.
I wonder how God would expect me to live out this life of supporting those who are less fortunate. May God deliver me from my American-motivated selfishness and help me conduct my life to support the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the sojourner.