March 29, 2024


Exodus 23:1-9 - You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him. You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.


This passage from Exodus gives instructions from God to the Israelites about justice and righteous living. It starts by warning against spreading false reports and conspiring with wicked people as false witnesses to pervert justice. God tells them not to fall in with crowds doing evil or show partiality to the poor in lawsuits. Instead, God calls them to kindness even towards their enemies. If they come across an enemy's ox or donkey that has gone astray, they should return it. Similarly, if an enemy's donkey is struggling under its burden, they should help to rescue it rather than leaving it. The passage goes on to forbid perverting justice for the poor in lawsuits. They are to avoid false charges and not kill innocent people, because God will not acquit the wicked. Furthermore, they are prohibited from accepting bribes, since bribes blind those who should uphold justice and truth. The summation of it all is that the Israelites must not oppress foreigners living among them, because they know what it is like to be oppressed as they were in Egypt. So they are to pursue justice, truth, righteousness, and kindness - even to their enemies.


The timeless principles in this passage speak powerfully to us today about living justly before God. As Christians, we are called to honesty and integrity, avoiding false reports and conspiracies to pervert justice. Instead of following crowds into evil, we should lead the way in righteousness by example. We must not allow the poor to be denied justice simply because they don't have money or influence. As we uphold truth and oppose wickedness, we must be careful that we ourselves do not become false accusers. And seeking or accepting bribes that would cause us to compromise our values is clearly wrong. Beyond all this, we should treat all people - even our enemies - with kindness and compassion. Returning a lost item or helping someone in need is simply the right thing to do. As we pursue justice and righteousness, we must check our hearts against partiality, false accusations, bribery, and oppression of the weak. We serve a just and righteous God, and we must reflect His character. Our motivation is not just duty, but love - remembering that we too were once oppressed foreigners saved by His grace.


Heavenly Father, we praise You as the perfect Judge over all, the One who upholds justice and righteousness. Give us the courage to stand for truth, even when it means going against the crowd or those in power. Search our hearts and keep us from partiality towards anyone due to their poverty or status. Help us to actively fight injustice and oppression. Remind us to show kindness and compassion even to our enemies, just as Jesus did. May justice and mercy flow through us by the power of Your Spirit, so that Your kingdom may be advanced. We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

An act of kindness Seeking justice with compassion As God desires

An act of kindness
Seeking justice with compassion
As God desires

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.