I have no plans to hurt somebody’s eye or ever own a bull that will gore people, so I will never have to set a person free or worry about reimbursing a person that will be gored.
As I was struggling to relate this to passage to my life I was struck by the way that God sets out these Laws for the Israelites. He lists a series of scenarios where the Israelites will kill, hurt and damage each other or each other’s property. Yet to mirror each scenario there is a consequence, an eye for an eye, a bull for a bull or freedom for an injury. As a person living after the life and death Jesus, I know that I don’t have to live by each one of these laws, I live by faith in Jesus. However, I do think that this passage points out to us that our actions have consequences.
In this chapter we see that the Israelite’s are not going to be able to remain in perfect contentment with each other. Today, I don’t think we are able to always remain in perfect relationships either. We live in a broken world so at some point we will hurt the people around us or be hurt by them. However, we do make choices at times to behaviour in ways that cause hurt and we also make choices about how we respond when we are hurt.
I think that our greatest choice is to follow God. This passage shows us that God knows his people. He knows that they won’t always follow the Commands he gave them in chapter 20. Our God knows us and loves us despite our brokenness.
So, as you face todays circumstances, conversations and choices pause for a moment and think about how God would like you to respond. A harsh word, or a word of forgiveness? A short cut or an extra minute to do a job well? A chance to encourage or to be critical?