“1 You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. 2 You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; 3 nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
4 When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.
5 When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.
6 You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. 8 You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
9 You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” NRSV
Exodus 20:1ff is the first place the Ten Commandments appear in the Bible. It is followed by chapter after chapter of laws God sets before God’s chosen people. As a result of their obedience to the laws God was setting before them, they would be to God “a priestly kingdom and holy nation.”
I find it interesting that some Christians are quick to throw the Ten Commandments in your face as a litmus test for faithfulness. Equally interesting to me is that many of those same Christians conveniently forget that this section of the Law is there, too, and just as binding and important as the Ten Commandments.
It seems to me we would be a much different nation today if we didn’t just pick and choose the passages of scripture most convenient to our personal causes. If we took the teachings of the Bible in their contexts, we could not escape the foundation of God’s justice and righteousness for all, that upon which the whole the Bible and our relationship with God rests.
Be a blessing to someone today!