March 14 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.” ~Deuteronomy 24:17

God’s people are told to pursue justice, or what we might call fairness, in every area. The Law dictated that evil and evil people be excluded from the community and impurity be left outside the camp, which means outside the community and place of worship (Deut. 23:1-8). In daily practice, servants, foreigners, and fellow-citizens are to be treated properly. Parents are not to be held responsible for their children’s choices. Nor are children to be held responsible for their parent’s choices (Deut. 24:16). Each individual stands before God (or a judge) bearing full responsibility for the decisions he or she made. In financial transactions, just laws are in place for borrowing and lending as well as for recovering loans. (For example, one may not take away a person’s ability to make a living when recovering a loan.) Also justice extended even to the ancient welfare system. Some of the harvest is left for the poor so that they have opportunity to work for their food by reaping a farmer’s leavings. Each person/farmer contributed a little something to alleviate the poverty problem in their area.

Justice and mercy are two of the most important values woven through Scripture (Micah 6:8). Therefore, to the degree that it is possible, modern Christians should promote just practices in our homes, schools, churches, and in the larger world. When we see unfairness, we should not be afraid to speak up in the right way to the right people. We should advocate justice in the issues that arise in these modern times. We should be especially vigilant to actively promote just/fair practices within the church community in order to glorify God. God loves justice because it reflects who He is; He is fair! This is one of the reasons we can trust Him when we are wronged. In His fairness, He will eventually right all wrongs (Rom. 12:17-21). Let us be like our God and, to the best of our ability, pursue justice for everyone!

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.