Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Exodus 22-24
For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
In north Texas there appear to be “rock haulers” everywhere, for as certainly as there is road construction, of which there is no end here, there are rock haulers. These are those big eighteen-wheel sized tractor trailer combinations designed to haul rocks, sand, and gravel. On each one, there is a decal on the back saying “Stay back 500 feet, we are not responsible for broken windshields,” or something to that effect.
There seems to be two constants concerning these rock haulers. One, they do not observe the speed limit and have no compulsion about swerving closely in front of a vehicle, well within the 500-foot range. Two, even though their cargo may be loosely covered by a tarp, gravel will fly off their load and chip, or break, a windshield. I know, I’ve had to replace two because of them. But they claim to be free from the responsibility to be responsible for the damage they inflict.
This lack of personal responsibility for the damage they may cause is not in keeping with God’s law. As you read today’s chapters this thing of being responsible for ones actions is highlighted. The word “restitution” is introduced for the first time in Scripture as it is used four times in chapter 22. Another first in this section of the Bible is the phrase “make it good,” also used four times (once in chapter 21, three times in 22). These indicate that a person causing harm to another person’s property is responsible before Almighty God to pay restitution or make it good.
Why is God so specific about this? Because of the last phrase in today’s verse. …for I am gracious. This is the only time in the Bible this exact phrase is used. God clearly states for all to know and hear that He is gracious and He is teaching His people through the law how to be gracious also. His graciousness toward those harmed is unequaled. He wants them restored as much as possible.
God is gracious, no wonder that 19 of the last 22 books of the Bible either open or close with a salutation of grace. For example, 1 Corinthians 1:3. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. As God is gracious, His people should be gracious.
Concerning being gracious, a great man of God of yesteryear, Henry Ward Beecher preached: “You pray for the graces of faith and hope and love; but prayer alone will not bring them. They must be wrought in you through labor and patience and suffering.” No wonder so few display the three great graces of faith, hope, and love. But God does. For He said it…for I am gracious. Are you?