HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

Opening Question:

When was a time when you really felt you saw justice served?

In the laws of Exodus we see God’s justice extend to very vulnerable people in society. Let’s read the story again in our passage from Sunday:

22:21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. 28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. 29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me. 31 “You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.
23:1 “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 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, 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. 4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 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. 6 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 9 “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Reflect Together:

What do these laws show you about the character of God and his relationship with his people? How does that impact your understanding of God and his relationship with you today?

God instructs the Israelites to not mistreat widows or fatherless children, nor to wrong resident immigrants (sojourners) in verses 21-23. What characteristics do those groups share? Which people fit those characteristics today?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

Who do you know who is vulnerable right now? Are you treating them compassionately and caringly?

Part of reflecting God’s justice involves returning portions of our gifts to him (verses 29-30). Do you make a regular practice of offering God gifts from what he has given you? What does that say about what you own?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

Consider together with your group how you can be of help to vulnerable people in your spheres of influence right now. If you all don’t know anyone in a vulnerable position personally, check out the latest Wellspring eNews for ways to donate blood, meals, and masks to people in need right now.