“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.” Exodus 22:25-27
Where is our moral standard? What determines right or wrong? We live in a world for which the answer to these questions is blurred. Because it has lost its fear of God, there is no clear standard for what is good. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes.
From the very beginnings of their life together, the people of Israel knew who determined right from wrong; it was God. When the people met with God at Mount Sinai, God began to give them laws for their life. These were laws to govern their relationships, their actions, their courts, and their worship. When we read these laws today, it is amazing the wisdom found there. Though given to a people who lived in a very different time period, they ring with truth, goodness, and mercy.
There is one foundational principle that comes through clearly in the laws of the Old Testament; God is watching! God is watching what people do. Those think they can “get away with” evil are badly mistaken. God watches and dispenses his own justice, even when society does not. God knows when people misuse the poor, do injustice to one another, cheat their neighbor, take advantage of the weak. God has his ways of returning our evil onto our own heads.
We would do well to remember this today. God’s eyes rove throughout the earth. He sees what we do and judges our thoughts, words, and actions. While God will certainly dispense justice in the Final Judgment, he has ordered the world so that we “reap what we sow” in this life also.
It is why we ought to always turn our hearts toward God. Augustine, writing of his own experience of God, said, “You pierced my heart with your word and I fell in love with you.” It is always good to be falling more deeply in love with God.
Here is a way to keep our selves oriented toward God every day.
· Start every day with God; say a prayer and turn yourself toward God before you ever get out of bed.
· Commit yourself to God throughout the day: your work; your relationships; and your heart.
· Close the day with prayer: review your day; confess your sins; give thanks for God’s goodness. Each day let us stay close to God. Our loving God watches us in order to do us good.
With Warm Regards,