Moses continues to share God’s Laws with the people. Today he deals with differing weights, struggling with one another and the stragglers from before.
The first Law Moses reminds the people of had me scratching my head a little. Why would God make such a Law? Was this something that happened so often that He would need to address it? Maybe it had happened in the past and it was so memorable that He made a Law to deal with it.
There certainly had been struggles between men before. Jacob and Esau pops to mind immediately. At the time of their struggles though neither were married. Jacob was still a “scrapper” even after having all his children as the angel of the Lord had to put his hip out of joint to finally win.
This law though deals with one of the wives jumping in to help. Personally, if my husband were in trouble I would want to help out but I’m not sure how I would do in such a physical altercation. I would probably try jumping on the other man’s back, not grabbing for his “private parts.” She would have to get right in the middle of their fight to even reach this area of the men. But that area is sensitive enough to stop the fighter in his tracks!
The punishment the wife received for this offense is interesting too. She was not killed for her interference. She was not shunned for having touched another man. Her hand that touched him was removed instead. Knowing this outcome she would have to be very desperate to even try such a thing. I wonder if her husband would thank her for stepping in on his behalf or would he feel disrespected because of being saved by a woman. And would the loss of her hand be a constant reminder of all that had transpired?
The second Law Moses addresses is important even today. One measure for ALL. When I think of this Law I’m reminded of a story my mother told me about how they used to measure fabric yardage before standard measurements were implemented.
When a stranger or someone who wasn’t the clerk’s friend would ask for fabric, the clerk would measure a yard to equal the distance from her outstretched arm to the tip of her nose as it pointed to the outstretched arm. If the clerk were measuring the same material for someone she liked, possibly family too, she would measure from the end of her outstretched arm to the tip of her nose as her head faced forward. The final measurement was for herself and favored family members. She would measure a yard from the end of her outstretched arm to the tip of her nose while it faced the opposite direction of her outstretched arm. Three measures made by the same person supposedly equaling the same distance. Now factor in the fact that not everyone’s arms are the same length. Who knows what a yard is then!
God said it shouldn’t be this way. One measure for all. Friend, foe or self. The same measure needs to apply equally to everyone. His measures did. Lying was lying no matter who did it. Theft was theft regardless of the one involved. And rejecting His Son carries equal penalty for ALL. Equal penalty and equal reward. All are measured by His same standard.
The last thing Moses addresses in our reading for today is more of a reminder than a Law. Moses lets the people know that God hasn’t forgotten the treatment they received as a people at the hands of Amalek. I believe the battle Moses is referring to is the one that happened after he struck the rock for water the first time.
The people were attacked without provocation. They had been walking for a while and were thirsty. Amalek probably thought they were going to be easy pickings because of where they were. Israel was not used to their surroundings and didn’t know where to go to get the supplies they needed, such as water. Amalek apparently cut off the ones who sere straggling behind.
If this was the battle I’m thinking about where Moses’ arms were held up so the people were encouraged, even Moses was weary at this point. God fought for them though even in the face of overwhelming odds. And He wanted His people to know that He planned to payback Amalek for his behavior. They tried to wipe out God’s people but they would be wiped out instead. God watches over His own and there ARE consequences for those who mistreat His children.
Father God thank You that You watch over me. Thank You that You hold me to the same standard as everyone else. Help me with the standards I hold others to. Right now I’m struggling with understanding how one of my family members doesn’t do the things that I know should be done for their situation. I know You made them different from me and they do things their way but I SO want to make them get off the stick and do the job that needs doing. Am I being harsh or unfairly judging them because they are failing to do the things that need done? I can’t do the things for them or I probably would offer to do so. But then they turn to someone else in my family and cry because they don’t have their needs met when if they would have done what they needed to in the first place the problem would most likely have been resolved. Where do I step in? How do I help without enabling or strong arming? It has been suggested that I share my experiences as motivational but would they even listen? Please show me what You would have me do in this situation. Use equal measures for equal effort? I place them in YOUR hands Lord. Please lead them and work in their lives. Please don’t let them run over the other family member again. I don’t know if I have the influence to stop it if it happens again. Heal the one at the center of all this Lord both physically and emotionally. Thank You that I can trust You with ALL my needs, including when it is the need of someone else. You love ALL Your children.