by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Lest He Cry Against You (19 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part Two
Christopher B. Harbin
Deuteronomy 24:10-22

We are hard-wired to feel compassion on an individual level. We see needs around us and are moved to offer a meal, a pair of shoes, a shirt, a pair of pants, a coat, or a sleeping bag and willingly offer them to meet an individual's need. At least momentary needs within our grasp are elements we readily and willingly address. In so doing we often fail to address the larger issues that bring people to those conditions from which they may seek escape and the comfort of our band-aid compassion.

The Bible is an ethical document in many respects. It is a compilation of ethical documents that are religious but advance very specific ethical teachings. We can't say the Bible is always consistent, for it includes various streams of thought which come from diverse traditions within the bounds of a Yahwistic faith. What we find ourselves having to do is read these various streams of doctrine, ethics, and tradition to determine the higher standard among them and so apply that to our lives.

Christianity has taken the person and teachings of Jesus as espousing the central and highest tenets of faith, ethics, and an understanding of God's will. At times this means that Jesus offers a correction to a lesser stance from one of those streams of tradition. At other times we find that Jesus actually builds upon a stream of understanding he finds and accepts as very consistent with his own ethical and moral code. Today's passage in Deuteronomy is one such stream of understanding. Amid its faults, it calls us to an honest approach toward recognizing and accepting the needs of a vulnerable population, doing our best to see their needs and concerns as we would our own.

This passage of Deuteronomy was not written to the entirety of the nation. As with many of the laws of the Torah, it was written with a more specific audience in mind. These laws were given to the upp ...

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