Daily Readings and Thought for February 11th. “WHOEVER CURSES HIS FATHER OR HIS MOTHER …”
Our readings in Exodus, having recorded the giving of the Ten Commandments, are now taking us through a whole range of the laws which the people of Israel were to keep so that they became an orderly and holy nation. We pondered their system of slavery and the fact that there appeared to be no system of employment with wages as we know it today. If there was, what would they use for money, where would they keep such wages? But what kind of slavery was it? In the modern world slavery was only abolished 150 years ago; it was an abhorrent social system and it was far more abhorrent than Israel’s kind of slavery.
The chapter starts, “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.” [Ch. 7 v.1,2]. As we come to read further chapters and Leviticus (eg Ch.25 v.39) we shall see that the payment made for someone enslaved was to clear a debt; also the son(s) of a man who died, leaving debts, could be enslaved for a period to clear those debts.
But it was verse 17 that really caught our attention, it reads “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death” A footnote indicates the Heb, qalal could also be translated as dishonours or reviles. Juvenile delinquency was very firmly dealt with under this law!
This lead us to consider the future laws in God’s Kingdom when “many people will come, and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD … that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go the law …” [Isaiah 2 v.3]. We noted also Ch. 51 v.4,5, “for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice as a light to the peoples … for my arm they wait.”
Jesus is the ARM of the LORD (John 12 v.38)! Those who have the attitude, ‘I’ll do as I please’ will get a shock when the Jesus reigns and the LORD’s law goes forth. Is our spirit and attitudes such now that we will appreciate that time – or does the so called “freedom” of today influence us too much?.