Weekly Devotion – Exodus 22:25-27

Published 5:42 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 22:25-27, “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”

These instructions are not so much about lending money as they are compassion on other people. When you lend to needy folks, the word means those who are poor or afflicted. Moses is speaking about people who are having troubles or are in a bad place. And let’s be honest, we all get into those bad places from time to time. And often we just need a little help, just a boost to get ourselves back on our feet. I know there are often chronic cases, and those happen for various reasons. And it might even happen to us. But this is not about the reasons why this is happening to them, it is about our reaction to them.

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We are to lend to them freely and without charging them any interest. And if they give us their cloak in pledge, we are to give it back to them at nightfall. If someone is in a bind, they don’t have extra money to pay us interest. And their cloak was used as their bed covering at night, they needed it to get a good night’s rest so they could get to work in the morning. There are other passages about not taking a millstone as interest, that is taking away their ability to work and earn money as well.

God’s point is we need to be kind and caring to those folks who are in need. We absolutely need to do all we can to help them get back on their feet. That is going to include not charging them interest, not taking the things they need to survive, and most importantly not taking away their dignity. We need to see them as children of God and they need to be able to see themselves the same way. And they need to see us as people who care for them, who are willing to help them in whatever way we can. And when we think about it, don’t we want and need help from time to time? And hasn’t God helped us far more than we can ever help anyone else?

Father, help me pay your goodness to me forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works as a full time AEMT with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.