When someone does something unpleasant to me I have visions of them being repayed in kind. Today’s passage has the well known “eye for an eye” passage. I wrestle with the concept of revenge. Popular culture supports it. We cheer when a wronged person repays people for the injustice that is done to them. However, Jesus takes us beyond revenge to mercy and grace. With Jesus we learn to turn the other cheek.
I have had daydreams today of the cop who pulled me over yesterday being pulled over for the mereist infraction. He did not necessarily do me wrong. Something in my psyche wants to see payback. However, Jesus moved beyond payback to kindness, gentleness, and self-control. It is that path that I choose to follow.
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. 3 Outside the curtain of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the LORD from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 4 The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD must be tended continually.
5 “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah [a] for each loaf. 6 Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. 7 Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire. 8 This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”
10 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them.
13 Then the LORD said to Moses: 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.
17 ” ‘If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. 19 If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. 21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ “
23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the LORD commanded Moses.
- Where did the Egyptian’s son go?
- What did he say?
- What was his punishment?
- How was personal injury to be repayed?
- How did Jesus move us beyond these principles of personal injury?