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Responsibility for Property

Responsibility for Property

The entire chapter is filled with examples of the principle of restitution- making wrongs right. Thus, it points out that we have done someone any wrong, then we should go beyond what is expected to make things right. This will not only help us ease any pain we have caused, but also help the other person to be more forgiving. It shall also make us more likely to think before we do it again.
God warned the Israelites not to treat strangers unfairly because they themselves were one stranger in Egypt. It is not easy coming into a new environment where one feels alone and out of place. Be sensitive to their struggles, and express God’s love for your kindness and generosity.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
20 Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.
21 You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
28 You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people.
31 You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

Let’s Pray: Every year on the Easter Day we hear a lot of bombing/shooting take place at various religious conventions. Christians are killed in hundreds and thousands in number. They turn the joyous celebrations to mourning and weeping. Such events are meant to break the faith but on the contrary it breaks the trust in humanity and strengthens the faith in God. Those who suffer the injuries or mourn the dead are willing to keep Lord’s spirit alive by coming together and praying for the world peace. Lord’s laws are very just. These laws guide us and protect us from sinning against him. We pray earnestly to keep us protected and help us to be kind to strangers.

Chapter 22: Responsibility for Property
1 When someone steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, the thief shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. The thief shall make restitution, but if unable to do so, shall be sold for the theft.
2 If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred;
3 but if it happens after sunrise, bloodguilt is incurred.
4 When the animal, whether ox or donkey or sheep, is found alive in the thief’s possession, the thief shall pay double.
5 When someone causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets livestock loose to graze in someone else’s field, restitution shall be made from the best in the owner’s field or vineyard.
6 When fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, the one who started the fire shall make full restitution.
7 When someone delivers to a neighbor money or goods for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, then the thief, if caught, shall pay double.
8 If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall be brought before God, to determine whether or not the owner had laid hands on the neighbor’s goods.
9 In any case of disputed ownership involving ox, donkey, sheep, clothing, or any other loss, of which one party says, “This is mine,” the case of both parties shall come before God; the one whom God condemns shall pay double to the other.
10 When someone delivers to another a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal for safekeeping, and it dies or is injured or is carried off, without anyone seeing it,
11 an oath before the LORD shall decide between the two of them that the one has not laid hands on the property of the other; the owner shall accept the oath, and no restitution shall be made.
12 But if it was stolen, restitution shall be made to its owner.
13 If it was mangled by beasts, let it be brought as evidence; restitution shall not be made for the mangled remains.
14 When someone borrows an animal from another and it is injured or dies, the owner not being present, full restitution shall be made.
15 If the owner was present, there shall be no restitution; if it was hired, only the hiring fee is due.
16 When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.
17 But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins. Social and religious commands
18 You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.
19 Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.
20 Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.
21 You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
22 You shall not abuse any widow or orphan.
23 If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry;
24 my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.
25 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them.
26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down;
27 for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.
28 You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people.
29 You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me.
30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
31 You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

 

 

 

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The Treatment of Servants

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The laws were given because everything we do has consequences. It is vital to think before acting, to consider the effects of our choices. Think of your plans for today and consider what their long- range results will be. As we deal with others, we should keep the principles of these laws in mind. We should act responsibly and justly with all people- friends and enemies alike.

The ‘eye for eye’ rule was instituted as a guide for judges, not as a rule for personal relationships or to justify revenge. This rule made the punishment fit the crime, thereby preventing the cruel and barbaric punishments that characterized many ancient countries. Jesus used this principle to teach us not to retaliate (Matthew 5:38-48). Judges, parents, teachers and others who work with people must make wise decisions in order for discipline to be effective. A punishment too harsh is unfair, and one too lenient is powerless to teach. Ask God for wisdom before you judge.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
12 Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.
13 If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.
14 But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.
15 Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.
17 Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.

Let’s Pray: Every law given by Lord is for each one of us to move away from sin. We need laws to guide us. Lord, has provided us laws so that we can be delivered. As we reflect on the laws that are given in this chapter, we see the glory of God and his love for the generations. We trust in you Lord and we denote our lives to you. We pray that everything about us begins with you before we do anything, we pray that we are able to abide by the rules and laws you have given us. Lord, let our ever breath be dedicated to you. In the precious name of our Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Chapter 21: The Treatment of Servants
1 These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:
2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt.
3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone.
5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,”
6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.
7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.
8 If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her.
9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.
10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.
11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.
12 Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.
13 If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.
14 But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.
15 Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.
17 Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.
18 When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed,
19 but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.
20 When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished.
21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.
22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye.
27 If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.
28 When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall not be liable.
29 If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
30 If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim’s life.
31 If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule.
32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slave owner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Laws dealing with property and compensation
33 If someone leaves a pit open, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,
34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution, giving money to its owner, but keeping the dead animal.
35 If someone’s ox hurts the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it; and the dead animal they shall also divide. 36 But if it was known that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not restrained it, the owner shall restore ox for ox, but keep the dead animal.

 

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Israel at Mount Sinai

Israel at Mount Sinai.jpg

Moses was told to consecrate the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary routine in order to dedicate themselves to the God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and pre-occupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparations to get your mind ready to meet God.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts of this New Year 2016. With the welcoming of this year we also welcome You among our midst and truly pray that You bless each one of us with abundant blessings and prosperity. O God! Be gracious and bless us all. Amen

Chapter 19: Israel at Mount Sinai
1 On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites:
4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
6 but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him.
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” When Moses had told the words of the people to the LORD,
10 the LORD said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes
11 and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death.
13 No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.”

14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.
19 As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder.
20 When the LORD descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the LORD summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the LORD to look; otherwise many of them will perish.
22 Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.'”
24 The LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the LORD; otherwise he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

 

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Learning from a Flock of Geese

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We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

You have probably heard someone call another person who has done something foolish, “A silly goose!” Well, I can tell you that geese are not silly! We can learn a lot from the goose. For example, I am sure that most of you probably know that when geese fly, they fly in a “V” formation.

Have you ever wondered why the geese fly in a “V” formation?

Recent scientific studies have given us the answer. It has been learned that as each goose flaps its wings, it gives a lift to the one immediately following. It has been determined that flying this way gives the geese about 70% more flying range. Of course, that means that the lead goose is working harder. When the lead goose gets tired, he falls back into the formation and another takes his place. Now, that’s team work!

If you have ever seen a flock of geese flying, you have also noticed that all the time they are flying, the geese are “honking.” They do this to encourage one another. It is always easier to do something difficult when you know you aren’t flying alone, isn’t it?

Sometimes, a goose becomes sick or is injured and falls to the ground. When that happens, two other geese go down and stay with it until it is well. If it dies, they join another formation and continue on their journey.

Do you think the geese are silly?

geese It sounds to me like they are pretty smart! What lessons do you think we could learn from the geese?

  • We could learn that it is important for all church members to share the responsibility within the church rather than letting the same loyal ones work until they drop!
  • We could learn that it is important to “honk” encouragement to other workers in the church.
  • We could learn that it is important for us to look after those who are sick or in need.

There is a lot that we can learn from the goose, isn’t there?

Dear Jesus, help us to use the gifts that you have given us to serve and encourage others. Amen

Original Article Source: Unknown

 

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