Google+ 08/07/13 No More Twisted Justice or Slanderous Gossip!

Leviticus 19:15-17

 

“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful.

Always judge people fairly.

Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.

Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.

Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. 

Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin."

 

Part three of our five-part devotion finds us listening to a conversation between Moses and God in the Old Testament.  As we all know, the first five books of the Bible are referred to as "The Law," and they were written by Moses.  If you were Jewish, particularly male, you studied "The Law" and had most of it memorized.  The Book of Exodus concludes with the erection of the tabernacle, according to God's plan.  The Book of Leviticus tells the Israelites how to use this tabernacle.  Suffice it to say, that everything in the Book of Leviticus is necessary and important, as God instructed Moses how to continue to lead His people.  Three important concepts are dealt with, by God, in our short Scripture lesson today.  First, God deals with justice.  Moses is told to not favor the poor or the rich, but to be just in his judgment.  It would be nice if our legal system today listened to this admonition.  We are not supposed to twist justice in legal matters.  Our entire legal system today does just that.  Attorneys charge huge sums of money to play "legal games" in a court room.  We attempt to find every loophole possible and rarely do judges follow God's instruction about judging fairly, without prejudice.  This has become such a common practice that we now accept it as "the way it is."  I believe God would tell us that  the way it is, isn't okay.  Then God takes time to talk to Moses about gossip.  God makes it clear to Moses that the people are simply not to do it!  Furthermore, God tells Moses that we should not stand idly by while others' lives are threatened.  To make sure Moses understands the importance of these instructions, God reminds Moses that He is Lord.  Finally, God says that we cannot harbor hatred against any of our relatives.  Remember that everyone in Biblical times was closely related.  Today, it would be good for us to remember that we are all the children of Abraham and God!  The last line is so important.  If we do not address conflict, which is usually caused by biased judgment, slanderous gossip, or unresolved hatred, we are responsible for our relatives' sin.  Don't miss this point.  By not repenting ourselves and doing our best through God to resolve conflict directly, we can be held responsible for the other person's actions.  Now you know why we refer to a group of Christians as a "Family of God!"  Listen carefully today to God as He speaks through Moses.  Gossip was forbidden in "The Law," too.  God says, "No More Twisted Justice or Slanderous Gossip!"