Tuesday: Psalm 74-76 & Exodus 22:21-24

From Natasha Cassamajor

21. “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.  22. You shall not mistreat any widow or the fatherless child. 23. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” 
Exodus 22:21-24

Wow, our God does not play around with injustice; according to the passage above, it really angers Him. I can’t really remember a passage in the bible where God is so angry that He says He will kill. Off the top of my head I remember passages where we are told that the children of Israel (or we) will die as a result of our choices and actions but I don’t immediately remember God saying He will kill. In Genesis Adam is told that he will die if he eats from that one tree and somewhere in Deuteronomy the children of Israel are encouraged to choose life (blessings) so they and their descendants will live.

Is this passage telling us that the giver and creator of life is also a murderer? Not at all; it is showing us that God does not want people created in His image to be oppressed and mistreated. He doesn’t want the vulnerable to be taken advantage of. God’s righteous anger will fight for the oppressed. I love that verse 23 says, “I will surely hear their cry.” There are theological arguments from that quote. Will God only hear the cry of the children of Israel (or Christians for that matter)? No, this passage refers to the sojourner and the fatherless and the widow, not just those who have come to know God. In our current context it can refer to the Syrian refugees, victims of sex trafficking or the homeless or the people we oversee at work. There are other passages in the bible that specify how to help by feeding the hungry and helping widows. This passage doesn’t go into those details. It simply states to not take part in oppressing others.

I’ll be the 1st to admit that I don’t always know how to do that. In Cambridge, where I live, I pass by at least 2 dozens of homeless people on my way home from the train station. How am I supposed to know the best way to help? And which ones should I help? I’ve been around people with addiction so I’m never comfortable giving money. Sometimes I have to seek God in the moment to know how to help the homeless best.  My prayer for us as the body of Christ is that we would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, especially regarding how we treat people with our thoughts, our words and our actions. God takes notice (and so does satan who is looking for an opportunity to build walls of hostility between us). It pleases God when we seek Him on behalf of the vulnerable.

I am a massage therapist who loves babies and good movies. I would love to start writing a book about God’s goodness in my life.