Topic: Revenge Forbidden – from Deeper Christian Life Ministry DCLM Daily Manna by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi | Date: Thursday 19th July 2018.
Key Verse: “But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:29).
Bible Text: Exodus 21:26-36
Message: The laws presented in today’s reading were not rules for personal relationships. As Israel emerged from hundreds of years of harsh Egyptian slavery, God instilled in them a culture of fairness superior to what they were used to back in Egypt. He warned them not to maltreat servants, strangers and the vulnerable (Leviticus 19:34).
So, the laws were meant to moderate adjudication in Israel in the Promised Land. The Lord desired a system where every Israelite would be aware of the rules so that no one would cross the red line. Judgment was not arbitrary as in the ungodly neighbouring communities. That is why, for instance, in verse 29, bulls are not allowed to go about the community without penning it. If they went wild to kill or maim a neighbour, the owner would pay the supreme price, because he allowed it to disturb the residents without checking it.
The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ has since taught the believer that we must stand on these values and not seek to retaliate wrongs done to us. Indeed, He solemnly instructs us not to seek to revenge or harm our neighbours even if they are our enemies.
Our Lord used the principle in today’s reading to teach us to act as His followers. He challenges genuine Christians to have an accommodating spirit that tolerates others, whether a believer or not. He teaches us not to hurt anyone but to love even those who hate us so that we “may be the children of [our] Father which is in heaven”. We cannot secure a peaceful world through other means.
Thought for the Day: Love your enemies and shun revenge.
Bible in One Year: 2 KINGS 18; 2 Chronicles 29-31; Psalms 48