Study from God’s Word… Lev 19: 9-10, 23: 22; Deut 24: 19-22, 24-25; Lev 25: 35-38; Deut 5: 16; Lev 19: 3a; Ex 21: 17; Lev 20: 9; Ex 21: 17; Lev 20: 9; Deut 21: 18-21; Lev 19: 32; Ex 22: 22-24; Ex 22: 21, 23: 9; Lev 19: 33-34; Lev 24: 22; Lev 19: 14; Lev 19: 16-18; Ex 23: 4-5; Deut 22: 1-4; Deut 5: 21; Deut 25: 4; Deut 22: 6-7; Deut 20: 1-20; Deut 23: 9-14; Deut 24: 5; Deut 21: 10-14; … Passage for Reflection: Deuteronomy 22: 6 – 7 … NIV 6 If you come across a bird's nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. 7 You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.
My Journal for Today: Today’s study was a review of the Old Testament social welfare laws and principles God passed on to His people to aid them interacting with one another and promoting compassion, which is the focus virtue highlighted in today’s study verses. And when you, as I did, read these verses, you might have a tendency to say, “Well, … how quaint!” And we see that God cares even for His little birds; and then we extract the argument from the lesser to the greater … that if God so cares for birds the way He does, how much more does He care for you and me? And wow, in the Person of Christ we certainly see the answer to that one, don’t we?
In today’s study we see that structure, laws, and social principles were set in motion to provide for the poor, to help the handicapped, to honor the elderly (especially our parents), and even to take in foreigners when they were in need of accommodations. And F. LaGard Smith, in raising these issues, asks a couple of very pointed questions of his readers, “Can you even begin to imagine a world without daily acts of compassion? Indeed, what would you and I be like if we were devoid of compassion?”
And it was just yesterday, while I was going through my physical therapy in rehab after my shoulder surgery, the TV was on in the PT clinic; and I saw a segment from the Dr. Phil show (wow, such enlightenment!] where a Pediatrician had sexually abused over 100 little girls by taking advantage of them while he was examining them in his clinic; and there was another segment where three security guards in a shopping mall watched – and did nothing – to aid a young girl who was being pummeled by four other girls. And the question “Dr. Phil” was posing with his show was, “How can people act like this?” And there you and I have the answer to Dr. Smith’s question above. If the world was compassionless, anarchy would rule; and we’d see that the man with the biggest stick would rule.
And if we let – as a culture – the family degenerate into a structure God did not intend; or … we – as a people – are unwilling to take care of the Samaritan who is lying on the road, beaten down by the world [Luke 10: 25-37 - linked], we will become what I was viewing yesterday on that Dr. Phil show – a world devoid of compassion; and that my friends, would be sad, beyond measure, and personally intolerable. But that, my dear ones, is where we’re headed as mankind begins to live out what Paul wrote about in Romans 1: 18-32; and if we’re unwilling to live with compassion and promote caring love in our laws and culture, we will become an unlivable world.
So, as Dr. Smith asks today, ”Whose life might be uplifted today because of some compassion I might show?” A good question to move us to become what Christ would have us become … like Himself.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, Help me to live beyond self and to act like You toward my fellow man. Amen