Daily Devotion for May 16, 2013
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, Lord God of my salvation, to you be praise and glory forever. As once you ransomed your people from Egypt and led them to freedom in the promised land, so now you have delivered me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May I, the fruit of your new creation, rejoice in this new day you have made, and praise you for your mighty acts. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
For Strength and Peace
O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
From crowding things of sense I flee, and Thee I hide.
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord, and bless with peace.
I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
to control your appetite.
Do not desire what he offers,
for it is deceptive food.
Exodus 21:28-36 (ESV)
Law of Moses - Creating Dangers for Other
“When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him.
If it gores a man's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels [about a pound] of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
“When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.
“When one man's ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.”
Notes on the Scripture
Most people have heard of the "one bite rule" for dogs. In most states, if your dog bites someone but has never shown signs of biting behavior before, you won't be held liable. But if your dog has previously bitten someone, you will be held liable. Here we see the same rule applied to the only dangerous animal kept by the Hebrews, an ox. To be precise, an ox is a bull or steer (castrated bull) of a muscular breed, used for plowing and haulage.
The law given here is more strict. An ox who gores someone will be destroyed. But if an ox has a habit of goring people — if it is proven to be dangerous — the owner is considered to have committed murder if it kills someone. Such an owner might face execution for what would be called "reckless homicide" in U.S. law today; or, at the option of the victim's family or the judges, the owner might be allowed to redeem his life.
We also get a clearer view in these verses of the partial protection given to slaves. If a slave is killed by such an ox, the death penalty will not be imposed and the redemption price is a set figure.
The Hebrews did not have prison. Payment of money was the substitute.
The spirit of this law is that we must protect our neighbors. We cannot keep our property in such a manner that it endangers others, even where it causes us expense or pain. People get enormously attached to their pets, for example, and can become very defensive about their behavior. But the Biblical law is stricter than the laws of many states and cities. We can draw our own conclusions about what this means for us, and the way we keep our property and especially any animals likely to cause harm.