The AMI QT Devotionals from March 11-17 are provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), serves as the office manager of Church of Southland. She also directs the AMI cohort ministry for interns.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Justice is His Work”
Exodus 11:1-3, 12:35-36
Now the Lord said to Moses, “One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.” The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.”
When it comes to asking people for help, we all differ in our degree of courage in asking. Some of us may feel confident knowing the validity of our request, and others of us tend to feel afraid to ask, due to feeling like a burden or inconvenience. In today’s passage, God instructs the Israelites through Moses to ask the Egyptians for articles of gold and silver. In a way, God is instructing the Israelites to ask for justice, for these articles would serve as the wages for all their hard labor under severe oppression. I could only imagine the fear I would feel to approach my oppressor to ask for these materials. However, the emphasis in the passage is that the Egyptians’ response, as well as justice for the Israelites, are all God’s doing.
When the Lord instructed the Israelites to ask for articles of gold and silver, He was preparing to execute the last plague in Egypt which would finally cause Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave. It is my guess that the Israelites would have been overjoyed simply to be delivered from slavery, but God made it a point for them to receive their wages for their labor from Egypt through these articles. Through the nine previous plagues and His acts through Moses, God revealed his great power and might to the Egyptians. Though Pharaoh’s heart only became harder, the servants and people of Egypt saw how the God of Israel was greater than Egyptian power and Egyptian gods. Their hearts changed towards the Israelites and their fear of God grew. They had previously been oppressors, but they began to esteem Moses and to look upon the Israelites with greater respect. The Lord had given the Israelites favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. They would not leave Egypt empty-handed, but would have gold and silver, which would later become material for the tabernacle, the place where God’s presence would dwell. God’s act of justice worked towards their freedom, and they would be freed to serve and worship God.
This morning, let us consider how God is the initiator and finisher of all that is fair and just. When justice is His doing, He causes those whom He wants to lift up to be esteemed in the eyes of others, and He gives great favor to them. Let this passage remind us that our welfare and life conditions are in God’s hands.
Prayer: Dear Father, I praise You because You are a wonder-working God! You look upon those who are helpless in dark places and You work justice and righteousness for them. Lord, I pray that You would indeed work righteousness and justice for those who face oppression. I entrust their lives and future into Your hands. May Your power and deeds cause oppressors to see You, and may their actions change as they witness Your greatness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 2
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 2:23-25: When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Questions to Consider
- What is Peter emphasizing about Jesus Christ?
- What is Peter’s message to his immediate readers?
- Christ is the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul. How does this speak to you as you face your present, and perhaps difficult, circumstances?
- Peter is referring to Christ’s suffering on the cross. When insults were directed to him on that day, he did not retaliate or act against his oppressors, but he entrusted himself to the Father. He made it his goal to be the Savior by bearing everyone’s sins on the cross. He did not act as the judge in that moment, but trusted God the Father to be the judge of all deeds.
- Peter’s point is that since Christ bore our sins on the cross, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are freed to live for righteousness. An aspect of living for righteousness is to follow in Christ’s footsteps, which is to not retaliate when we are treated harshly, but to entrust ourselves to God, who judges justly. Peter instructed his immediate readers to submit to their masters in v. 18, even if they are not treated well, as a way of following Christ’s example.
- Personal Response.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1).
Scripture frequently reminds us that man’s authority and power will not prevail against God’s. Are you facing an unjust situation or a situation where you are falsely accused or misunderstood? Entrust your case to the Lord, and invite the Holy Spirit to give you strength to rest in the Lord’s timing and doing.