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God is Just

Words of Faith Final

God is Just
Words of Faith 1-4-2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Exodus 21
[18] "If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but is confined to bed, [19] the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed.
[20] "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, [21] but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
[22] "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. [23] But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, [24] eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, [25] burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
[26] "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. [27] And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.
[28] "If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. [29] If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death. [30] However, if payment is demanded of him, he may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded. [31] This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. [32] If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.
[33] "If a man uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, [34] the owner of the pit must pay for the loss; he must pay its owner, and the dead animal will be his.
[35] "If a man's bull injures the bull of another and it dies, they are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. [36] However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and the dead animal will be his.

Have you been injured in an accident? Hit by a stone? Gored by a bull? Call the firm of Korah, Elkanah, and Abiasaph for a free consultation today. You may be entitled to compensation under the law. :-)
The truth is that this is where personal injury and liability law began-- the Book of Exodus. Modern "tort" law deals with damage, injury, or wrongful acts done willfully, negligently, or in circumstances involving strict liability. The foundation for this understanding of justice is in the Bible.
This tells us that God is concerned with situations in which one person is responsible for harm or loss to another person, either through deliberate damage or negligence. There should be compensation for such injuries and losses. Even though the details and trappings have changed in 3500 years, the basic principles of law remain very relevant in the modern world.
According to the law, if you permanently disabled a person in a fight, you were responsible for their care even though they participated in the fight. Causing a miscarriage was to be compensated. There was a difference between a bull that gored a person for the first time and a bull that had a habit of goring people. It is negligent to keep such a bull around. It was also negligent to leave a pit open such that a neighbor's animal might fall into it. Today we apply these same principles to automobiles, vicious dogs, and unfenced swimming pools.
The law declared that irreparable injuries would be repaid with a similar injury. The legal principle of lex talionis, "an eye for an eye," was based on the idea of appropriate reciprocity. This may seem barbaric today, but it was a means of limiting retaliation to an act of equal damage.
So what is the point? God is concerned with justice. In many circumstances, real justice or reparation can never be entirely made in this life, but this is not a reason that communities should not try. We can be thankful for a court system, though it may be flawed, that attempts to make things right.
More importantly, we should consider who God is. God is just (2 Thess. 1:6). If we get to know God, we will discover a heart of justice. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). If we seek to have the heart of God today, we will support just consequences for the guilty. We will have a heart that seeks justice. We will strive to be fair in all our dealings. We will seek reparation for those injured. We will stand up for those who have been hurt or wronged. We will participate in community systems of justice. (Yes, that probably means jury duty!) Most of all, we will pray for a just peace in the world we live in. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Father God, give me Your heart. Give me a heart for justice. Give me eyes to see my day the way that you see it. Show me the things to stand up for and the things to leave alone. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.