Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Worker's Comp (Exodus 21)

I confess I don't understand the laws about slavery.

If an owner hit a slave with a stick and he recovered, the slave didn't have any recourse. 

A few verses later, God says, if an owner ruins the slave's eye, the owner must let the slave go free. 

Losing an eye, that's pretty serious. Okay.

Right after that, God says, if an owner knocks out the slave's tooth, the owner must let the slave go free. 

But, a tooth? In a society without dental care, where people probably lost a lot of teeth as the years passed? A beating was okay, but if he lost a tooth after the master hit him, he'd regain his freedom?

A tooth reminds me of the number of hairs on our head, or a sparrow that falls. God notices everything that happens to us, big or small. 

The bottom line is clear: don't mistreat your slaves. Not just the big things, like "don't kill him" or "don't blind him."  It included the little things too, like "don't knock out his teeth." 

God pays attention to everything that happens to us--and that we do to others. 

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