TOPIC: It Takes Grace (DCLM Daily Manna 17 August 2021)
TEXT: Exodus 23:1-13
1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.
5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:
11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
KEY VERSE: “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.” – (Exodus 23:4)
One of the Anabaptists who died during the sixteenth century persecution was Dirk Willems. Dirk was captured and imprisoned in his hometown of Asperen in the Netherlands. Knowing that his fate would be death if he remained in prison, Dirk made an escape, and a guard chased him. Frost had covered a nearby pond with a thin layer of ice. Dirk risked a dash across it. He made it to safety but the ice broke under his pursuer who cried for help. Dirk believed the Scriptures that a man should help his enemies. He immediately turned back and pulled him out of the frigid water, only to be arrested by the same guard, condemned and burnt to death on May 16, 1569.
Similarly, the passage under consideration presents a catalogue of actions that fits into the new life and the righteous requirements of truly converted saints. One of those commands required God’s people to help rescue the livestock of their enemies and avoid oppressing and taking advantage of the poor and the strangers. The same command was given through Christ’s sermon on the Mount on the need to pray for those who hate and persecute us (Matthew 5:43-48).
Clearly, it will be difficult to obey these laws without a corresponding deep change within. The unregenerate man is carnal, selfish, self-centred and sinful. After the experience of salvation, we need to proceed to have the experience of sanctification or holiness which removes the adamic nature or the root of sin and circumcise our hearts to love the Lord and our fellow men.
The new prayer genre of ‘the enemies must die by fire’ does not enjoy the support of Scriptures. God wants His people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of salvation (1 Timothy 2:3,4). When grace comes into our lives, it produces the fruit of love, peace, joy, longsuffering, sobriety, justice and mercy.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
True grace makes you pray for your enemies.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.