Today’s Bible study lesson from Exodus 22 displays a fair way of dispensing sentences in a court of law.
These are rules concerning social responsibility, restitution and property protection.
The laws are not given as a petty control of God over the people.
They are made in essence for building a society – and a nation.
God Sets the Law – Protection of Property and Social Responsibility
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.
But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” – Exodus 22:1-3 NASB
God’s Law – Building a Society
The laws listed in Exodus 22:1-31 are not meant to replace the Ten Commandments but more to itemize the principles.
Yes, God works hard to make sure His people understand how to apply His laws to their lives.
And, this set of laws is not just thrown together. You’ll find basically three objectives in this presentation.
They are ..
- Protection of the Nation
- Organization of the Nation
- To Bring the Nation Closer to God
As with any set of laws, the ones listed do not include every single incident. But, they give a good example of what God expects from His people in the form of crime and punishment.
What about Restitution?
In our country restitution is not implemented very often. But, it is widely spread throughout these verses.
The reason for a law of restitution is that it helps the victim and the accused resolve issues without jail time in many areas.
And, restitution causes the criminal to do what’s right when a wrong has been done to another.
Could this work for crime in our nation?
Restitution and Forgiveness
When a person has to pay for the loss he has caused another, forgiveness can come more quickly. And, a would be criminal might think twice before committing the crime in the first place.
Institution vs. Restitution
Wouldn’t it be nice if we incorporated restitution and forgiveness more into our legal system?
I saw a recent report stating that the United States spends something like six billion dollars per year to keep people imprisoned. And, victims receive no restitution in many cases for their loss of property or business.
God’s Fair Justice System
Above is just one example of the wisdom and fairness of God’s justice. Wouldn’t it make sense if we used it as a model for our legal system? Do we even forgive all in our Christian walk?
Under God’s law, we’re supposed to. After all, what does Jesus say about forgiveness?
Love in Christ
Discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Christ, please take a moment to read how – click here.
Filed under: Exodus