It is easy to forget the difficult times we have lived through when we are doing ok. We may have struggled for years to get the right job or home. We may have spent years in poverty or isolated from family and loved ones, we may have lost loved ones through illness or tragic accidents. Or we may have been abandoned by a loved one or lived through life changing illness or accidents ourselves.
These experiences are usually painful and unpleasant. We can learn much about ourselves through the suffering we have experienced. This passage is all about remembering our own sufferings in order to treat those around us who are in need today with compassion.
Deuteronomy 24:17-22 NLT
“True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow’s garment as security for her debt. Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from your slavery. That is why I have given you this command. “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do. When you beat the olives from your olive trees, don’t go over the boughs twice. Leave the remaining olives for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. When you gather the grapes in your vineyard, don’t glean the vines after they are picked. Leave the remaining grapes for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt. That is why I am giving you this command.
True justice is simply God’s standard. Anything which falls short of God’s standard is not true justice. We are called to remember where we came from and, if we are enjoying a period of prosperity, we must remember, that we were not always so fortunate. We must remember that our fortune lies in the hands of God in his Grace. We must treat the unfortunate with the compassion God would have them know. My goal is to try harder to act according to God’s true justice, in every situation I find myself in.
Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19, Luke 10:13-37, Psalms 75:1-10, Proverbs 12:12-14