Bible reading: Exodus 20:15
07/08 – To defend your cause and honor.
(Eighth and Ninth commandments).
We are reaching the two last meetings. I trust that your perception of God has changed from the first day until today. But we have not finished yet, there are more promises to learn and apprehend.
In the first promise of God, He promised to be faithful to you, to be your Husband, to take care of you, so you will never need to seek for another one who will care about you.
His second promise is to stay at your side constantly. He promised to be with you at all times, to the point that you will never need a picture of Him, because the real God will be at your side. He also promised to take care of you and your family, like the doctor visits the home of the ill to heal them.
In third place, God has promised to listen to you at all times, every time you call Him, every time you use His name. He is willing to help you and waits for your call of help to react immediately.
God has also promised to set aside a time each week to be with family. A special time every Saturday, to enjoy with you all that He has created, together with your family. He even invites the visitors you have at home to this feast. God wants to have a party every week. He only asks you to remember that weekly appointment.
The fifth promise, which introduced the following promises, is God’s commitment to help you to become a good person, an exemplary son or daughter. And as a guarantee that He keeps His promise, He tells you that He is the first interested in helping you to be a good child so that the whole universe can see His love and dedication for you.
Then he promised to be your defender, the Strong and Jealous that will always be by your side to get rid you of the enemy. You will not need to kill nobody, not even insult. God will help you respect the lives of others.
What’s more, he promises you a happy family, if you accept his help and advice. He promises you a life so full, that you will not need to look for “emotions” outside of your marriage. Ask God to give you the ideal partner, or to rekindle your marriage. He has promised so.
Let’s go with the eighth promise.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal”. This part of the promises is very simple, short and to the point. God is telling you: “If you believe and accept everything that I am promising you, I will also take care of your needs. I will make provision of everything you need. If you trust me as a husband, as your God, if you let me be stay at your side constantly, let me take care of what you need.”
Think that God wants to form a good family with you, united. The family that God is proposing you counts on a very responsible Husband, a wealthy one, who is the Owner of the entire world and all its content. God has promised to never neglect the most simple and basic needs of each family member.
You will never need to steal again, like maybe you did in the past. You are not alone anymore. God is taking care of you from now on, meeting all your needs, of course, if you accept.
In Psalms 37:25 we read: “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread”. We find the same promise here. God takes care of His children, he provides all they need. And we find again the same idea of “visiting” the descendants of those who are struggling. God will visit the offspring of those who have gone through problems to ensure them, at least, the daily bread.
Remember the text prefacing the ceremony of engagement at the Sinai. Exodus 19:5 “You shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine”. Do not forget that God is who “made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” Psalm 146:6. Psalm 24:1 “he earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 89:11 “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them”. Haggai 2:8 “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
If we distrust this promise, then is when we get ready to steal, when we do not need to do so. The sin in itself it is not to steal (which it is a sin as well), but why do we have to steal. If we steal it is because we distrusted God’s compromise and capacity to answer to our call. We do not believe He is able to give us what we need. So, we behave like someone who is distrusting and trying to find what we think we need in our own way. Do you imagine the Queen of Spain visiting with her husband Galleries la Fayette? Now imagine that she steals a dress or a pair of shoes. Why would she need to steal? Isn’t her husband, the King with her? Wouldn’t He be able to pay the bill?
Obviously, I am not saying that God will give us all the whims we will ask for. We do not give to our kids ALL they ask for at any moment. Psalm 84:11 “He does not hold back anything good from those whose life is innocent” (International Children’s Bible ICB). It is not a matter of expecting great richness, which it could also be. But to be sure that our basic needs will be supplied and ensured. Isaiah 33:15-16 “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.”
Probably the most popular Psalm is as well one promise within this big promise: Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over”. In the worse circumstances, when some people might find an excuse to justify what is unjustifiable, God provides. “Remember, if you really trust me, you will never steal.” But, you must be satisfied with what I provide…
We have the assurance of having our basic needs satisfied. 1) The right to life and respect to other’s life. 2) We will have a happy family. And 3) We are assured of having all the resources needed to support our family, knowing that we will never need to steal.
Which is the next promise? Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Or the reduced version: “You will not lie.” It is not a prohibition, although it is obviously implicit if it is accepted as a promise. What God is promising you here is: “If you accept me as your husband, I promise you that from now on you will not have the need to lie, it will not be necessary for you to blame others”, as did Adam with Eve and she with the Serpent.
Why do people lie? Or better, for what? There is no justification. It may be to obtain something unfairly, to defend oneself against an accusation, or any other reason.
Lying to get something implies distrusting the eighth promise (to say, stealing). The Husband will give us what we need, so, why should we lie?
If what we want is to “defend ourselves” from something, from some accusation, it is God who defends us with justice. This implies the sixth promise, or distrust that God can defend us, and we would end up defending ourselves with weapons (killing). The prophet Daniel already lived several similar situations. He could have lied to avoid being thrown into the lions’ den, or on many other occasions, but he did not. On the contrary, his habit was to pray for help from God. In Psalms 35:23-24 we read: “Wake up! Come and defend me! My God and Lord, fight for me! Lord my God, defend me with your justice. Don’t let them laugh at me” (ICB).
There are more texts like Psalms 103:6 “The Lord does what is right and fair for all who are wronged by others” (ICB). Violence can not only be physical, there is verbal, emotional, social, of many types. God is the one who has to defend you against false accusations.
On the other hand, where people tell more lies is in two areas, business and marriage, when something wrong happens or when there are dishonest intentions, of course. If God promises that you will not have to steal anymore, and promises you a healthy and happy family among other things, then what need will we have to lie? Any!
If we are in a lawsuit or conflict with someone because he has set a trap for us, it is possible to think that the “lie is fought with the lie”, but it is not God’s plan that this be done. Paul says in Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” He is not the only one who says something like that, Peter gives us a similar advice in 1 Peter 3:9 “not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”
Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
The human being is a specialist in finding excuses. We are unbeatable in justifying what we do, because we have a thousand reasons. We usually exaggerate a bit … But, would you like that someone would sell you something with an exaggerated price? To exaggerate is to lie, to change reality by a distorted image, and we will end up cheating others aggravating the situation more than it really is, normally to put the other on our side and attack or discriminate against the one who has done the alleged damage to us.
Paul says in Galatians 6:7 “Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. A person harvests only what he plants” (ICB). In the context of the ninth promise, we can also understand this: “Do not fool yourself, do not “justify yourself”, you do not have to lie, because if they lie against you, they will have their reward. God will take care of it”. Do not put yourself at their level, do not play their game. Trust in God and do not enter into the dynamics of “you said, I said, then they said …”.
What each one sows, that shall he reap. You, plant truth, and you will reap truth. In Psalms 146:6-7 we are told that God is who “Who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners”.
Do not forget that when there is a lawsuit and you go to trial, Jesus is the “Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation 3:14). In that case of litigation and disagreement, Jesus will never lie and bring out the truth, and he will do you justice. Sometimes we want to help God, with a little lie or exaggeration to justify that we are right (and I do not doubt that you are right), but by doing so, we put down the truth, even if we are right.
God promises you that he will do you justice, that you will not have to lie or exaggerate. Just trust in His promise and let Him do. Let God play God, otherwise, you will take His place and that was Lucifer’s sin.
God promises to help you be honest and honorable. That is the prologue in the fifth and double promise. Then He promises to defend the right to life, yours and of others. Then, He promises to structure life in families, promising the restoration and preservation of the base of society, family and marriage.
Then he promises to protect and sustain life and the family by providing everything necessary. Do not ever forget that you have the most powerful and richest Person in the Universe living constantly by your side, willing to spend every minute with you, always willing to listen to you, always willing to take care of you, making weekly plans to have a weekly family party.
And also, willing to interfere in your disputes with others. He is willing not only to protect life, the family and provide for it. He is willing to arbitrate in favor of your coexistence with others. He has promised to defend your cause, to avoid falling into the temptation to lie or exaggerate in an argument.
I invite you now to go to that God who is always ready to hear you. Talk to Him and present Him your most intimate concerns at this moment. Those problems that overwhelm you, those struggles and discussions in which you have interfered with lies, or that you yourself have created, and ask him to keep his promise and help you to get out of those problems.
Pray with the assurance that he is listening. Thank Him for being willing to help you be a good son and do not forget that, even if you do not feel worthy, the first interested in helping you is God himself. I invite you to pray.