Chapter-a-Day Exodus 22

Offender rights.

"A thief must make full restitution for what is stolen." Exodus 22:3 (MSG)

As I read through todays chapter, which is a list of some of the first laws recorded in human history, it struck me how much of it was plain common sense. It was a victim-centric system of justice. The offender had to make sure that the victim was not out anything because of their sin or crime. If you steal something you have to pay the victim for what was stolen. If your livestock eat your neighbors grain, you have to pay so that his livestock can eat. That's not rocket science.

I thought about Bernie Madoff as I read through today's chapter. What about all the people whose life savings and retirement accountts were wiped out by his scam? While he was under house arrest in his posh New York apartment, his victims were out finding jobs to replace the money he stole. Something is not right with that picture.

The code of human justice originally prescribed by God made sure that the power did not take advantage of the weak and powerless, and that victims received restitution. As I sit and mull it over my first cup of coffee this morning, it seems to me we have abandoned the victim-centric code of justice originally prescribed by God and evolved into an offender-centric society.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and sabeth718

One thought on “Chapter-a-Day Exodus 22”

  1. -4 “A thief must make full restitution for what is stolen.
    I remember a few years ago we went to a store and one of my young kids took a little toy from the check out line. I will never forget the angst that little person felt when we found out and said that we had to take it back and they needed to apologize. I think it was Kennedy, but I don’t remember. The little tyke cried and cried out of sorrow, embarrassment and the thought of losing the toy. It is these early lessons in life that educate young ones about the normal order of God’s law. Ah, memories.

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