TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
“… if I have taken any thing
… by false accusation,
I restore him fourfold.”
DEAL RIGHTEOUSLY WITH OTHERS’ PROPERTIES
This passage concerns properties. Exodus 22:1-4 commands full restitution and more for theft or killing of someone’s animals. If the apprehended thief cannot repay, he will be sold for his theft. There is no excuse for not making restitution. Exodus 22:5 forbids taking advantage of and damaging other people’s properties. Restitution must be made with the best of what one owns. Some like to use other people’s things so we get to keep ours or not wear ours out. This is wrong. Exodus 22:6 commands restitution for damage of others’ properties due to malice, vandalism, or negligence. Even if we accidentally knock into someone’s car or damage someone’s property, we should leave our contact so that we can make restitution. Exodus 22:7-13 teaches that if someone claims that the money or properties lent to him have been stolen, then the thief, if apprehended, must make two-fold restitution. If no thief is caught, the case is brought before a judge. Whoever the judge condemns must pay two-fold. In the case where there are no witnesses to corroborate the claim, an oath will be taken and no restitution is to be made. But if there are any grounds for suspicion and it is indeed proven true that there is fraud, restitution must be made to the owner. If there is proper evidence to prove there is no foul play, then no restitution is needed. Be responsible when you borrow things and do not lie that you have lost it. Exodus 22:14-15 further teaches that we must use what we borrow as if it were our own. But it teaches responsibility of the lender too. If you are present and fail to also exercise due care when what you own is being used by the borrower, you may not expect him to make good. This passage prevents irresponsibility, fraud, and also enforces responsibilities of both borrower and lender.
We are to be responsible, faithful keepers, and respectful of other people’s properties whether they happen to be in our possession or not. This is our duty towards man in obedience to God.
THOUGHT: I am to care for other people’s properties.
PRAYER: LORD, may I make restitution where I have sinned.