The Old Testament shows us that God never changes. His character has always been the same. In today’s reading, we see that God is a God of order and protection. God doesn’t let things run loose-- there are specific laws He gives the Israelites for almost every and any situation. He addresses things like money, marriage life, and even kidnapping. He covers all the grounds so that the Israelites would not be left with any questions or room to compromise. Overall, God has just always valued His people-- His people are like treasures to Him. In response to this, we must honor one another and see each other the very same way God sees us.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
4 “Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance”
Whatever you have is not your own-- it is God’s. Honor what God has given you and steward it well. If a friend were to give you a gift, wouldn’t you make sure not to lose or break it? Have that same care when handling the gifts of God. If God takes it seriously, then you must also.
21 “ If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.”
Be a man/woman of your word. Don’t just say things to say things! Make promises and mean it. If you feel like you’re not ready to make such promises (whatever they may be), then don’t! We’re quick to overanalyze verses like these, but God makes it clear. Once you practice keeping the smallest of promises, you will surely have the strength to preserve the bigger ones.
It’s easy to read these verses and only focus on what we lack, but that’s not what a mature Christian does. If you find yourself in that place, humble yourself and recenter your heart. He is greater, He is better.
The message in today's reading is simple: God values your personhood. Buried beneath the long list of laws is a message of Love. He never wants you to feel condemned or exploited. On top of that, He wants to make sure you don't partner with the enemy in making other people feel that way.
If there’s anyone in your life you get annoyed at or feel like you hate, choose to value them. Repent and let go of whatever bitterness you have towards them. Ask God to show you how He sees that person and how that person reflects His image.
After you do that, ask God to show you how He sees you. The more secure you are in His Love, the greater capacity you have to love on others. Let God expand your love tank!