Read Deuteronomy 24 -- 27
Moses, the lawgiver and prophet, placed great emphasis on the necessity of honesty and truthfulness in all areas of life. In his second message, he warned against deceptive practices and taking advantage of others. He illustrated this by the merchant who had two sets of weights and measures -- one for buying and the other for selling: You shall not have in your house divers (true and false) measures, a large and a small. But you shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure . . . that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God gives you. For all who do such things, and all who do unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 25:14-16).
Moses continued to point out that God hates lying, fraud, and bribery. From time to time, each of us has the opportunity to exercise the principles of justice and equity or to take advantage of others, which may take some form of dishonesty such as wasting time on the job, taking what doesn't belong to us, unethical business transactions, lies, fraud, or any other dishonest thing. Christianity goes to the very heart of our whole nature and the Word of God should determine the basis for our every action. A Christian should resist all temptation to lie, cheat, or steal. These evils will bring the judgment of God.
The attitude of fairness and consideration for others' well-being applies to a Christian's daily conduct. The self-centered "I" must give way to Christ and His control. We need to put on the new man . . . created in righteousness and true holiness. . . . putting away lying. . . . Steal no more. . . . Let all bitterness . . . and anger . . . and evil speaking, be put away from you . . . be kind one to another (Ephesians 4:24-32). Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11), exemplified this as he gave up his right to the possession of the best land to his nephew Lot in order to settle a dispute (Genesis 13:8-9).
It is possible to have bitter thoughts while doing kind deeds and to say loving words while having wrong attitudes and motives. But, our Adamic nature and its self-serving conduct can be overcome by the Christ-centered nature within our beings. Jesus warned that this is of utmost importance in His parable of the Kingdom of Heaven. A servant asked the king to be forgiven for the great debt he owed (his sins). With compassion, the king forgave him the debt. But the same servant refused to forgive a small debt that his fellow servant owed him. The king called him a wicked servant because he failed to show his fellow servant the same compassion as he had received. The king then delivered him to the tormentors. Jesus concluded His warning when He said: So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:23-35).
Our relationship with others goes much deeper than either word or deed; it goes to the hidden motives of our hearts and reveals what we truly are. This means that the life of a Christian should always be the expression of mercy and forgiveness. When Peter asked the Lord: How often shall . . . I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).
Christ Revealed: Through the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and Pharaoh (Deuteronomy 26:8). Jesus left His home in Heaven to deliver us from Satan and his control (John 6:38,51,58).
Word Studies: 24:12 not sleep with his pledge means not to keep it overnight; 25:18 smote the hindmost of thee means struck down those who were feeble and lagged behind; 27:16 setteth light means dishonors.
Government Official: Rep. Vito Fossella (NY) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WEKT-AM, Elkton, KY · Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant; 1% Muslim; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for forgiveness for particular sins (Psalms 51:1-9).
Optional Reading: Luke 24
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:19