Thus saith the Lord God

For forty days Christians of America are pondering and praying over verses from the Bible like the following:

Exodus 23:12 Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have relief, and your homeborn slave and the resident alien may be refreshed.

Leviticus 19:9-10  When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest.  You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Many people understand the words of the Bible to be inspired by God. If so, these words were given by God through Moses to the nation of Israel as laws to guide them after they had become the dominant power in the Promised Land. So, how did it work? Did Israel obey the laws their God had given them? Not consistently.

The book of Judges is full of sordid stories of conflict between the tribes of Israel and their neighbors. But the book of Ruth is an example of an alien woman who was allowed to glean the fields and be fully accepted by Israelites. She had good connections that helped her to overcome the counts against her.

But many things have happened in the thousands of years since those words were spoken. So how do they apply to Christians in the United States today? Should they be regarded as the law? No! Though the laws were of God and were counted holy, just and good, the laws failed.

If they are not binding, why should they be pondered and prayed over? Because of the guidance they give in providing for the common welfare of all,  the words should be taken seriously. They teach Christian citizens how to love their neighbors, specifically their undocumented alien neighbors. The love of Jesus supersedes the Law of Moses because it is effective.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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