Today’s scripture selection: Deuteronomy 23-25
Key verse: Deuteronomy 24:17-18
“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there.”
In the book of Deuteronomy, along with all sorts of laws about ritual cleanliness and social order, I love that there is this brief word about memory.
The people are told by God to always remember that they were once slaves in a foreign land, and that it was God who saved them.
They were a redeemed people – a rescued people.
And so, it only follows naturally that they should care for those who are the poor and outcast of their own community.
The rules are simple and direct. Don’t take a poor widow’s only coat as security for a loan. Don’t turn your nose up at the outsider – the foreigner – the “new kid” on the block who needs to find some acceptance. Take care of the orphans among you – literally and figuratively speaking.
It’s a good pattern for us to follow.
Whether or not you have ever been in shackles – you can probably identify with what it means to be in a situation where you are not in control.
Whether or not you have ever been totally dependent on someone else – perhaps some very abusive – for your food or shelter – you can probably empathize with someone who has been.
Whether or not you have been “orphaned” – you can probably understand what it is like to feel small and alone in a large and uncaring world.
So remember, we have all been in bondage of one type or another.
As you go down the road, and you find a widow; an orphan; a foreigner; along the way – be kind.
Love, as God has loved you.
Prayer: God, make me an instrument of your grace, wherever it might be needed. AMEN.