Daily Devotion for May 14, 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
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer for Renewal
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection. Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that I, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Proverbs 23:4-5 (ESV)
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Exodus 21:18-27 (The Message)
Law of Moses - Other Violent Crimes
If a quarrel breaks out and one hits the other with a rock or a fist and the injured one doesn’t die but is confined to bed and then later gets better and can get about on a crutch, the one who hit him is in the clear, except to pay for the loss of time and make sure of complete recovery.
If a slave owner hits a slave, male or female, with a stick and the slave dies on the spot, the slave must be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he’s not to be avenged — the slave is the owner’s property.
When there’s a fight and in the fight a pregnant woman is hit so that she miscarries but is not otherwise hurt, the one responsible has to pay whatever the husband demands in compensation. But if there is further damage, then you must give life for life — eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
If a slave owner hits the eye of a slave or handmaid and ruins it, the owner must let the slave go free because of the eye. If the owner knocks out the tooth of the male or female slave, the slave must be released and go free because of the tooth.
Notes on the Scripture
The law on assault and battery is a bit sketchy. There is no criminal penalty stated if the injured person recovers enough to walk with a crutch, but the attacker becomes responsible for taking care of him. The judges would, presumably, have fashioned reasonable laws to deal with specifics.
The other two areas covered are more interesting but, unfortunately, difficult to interpret. If a person kills his slave, the slave's life must be "avenged". Since the normal penalty for murder was death, one might speculate that it would be imposed, but that is speculation or inference. The other law about treatment of slaves is that, if a master knocks out a tooth or eye, the slave must be set free. Again, one would speculate that the judges would extend this to similar instances of grievous injury, but that is inference.
The salient point, however, is that absolute slavery, such as the Hebrews themselves had suffered in Egypt, was not permitted. One must recall, here, how Moses came to leave Egypt and travel to Mount Sinai, originally: he had to flee, because he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. (Exodus 2:11-15)
The laws about striking a pregnant woman are especially touchy, because people look to these verses for support both for and against abortion, a hot-button issue in American politics. Unfortunately, it does not really address the issue. If a woman is accidentally struck during a fight and she miscarries, the person who hit her must pay whatever her husband demands. The "eye for eye" law appears to apply to injuries suffered by the woman herself.