Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 10
Day Ten - Saturday, March 12
The Sin of Charging Interest
Read: Exodus 22:25-31 (See also Deuteronomy 23:19)
25 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; 27 for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate. 28 You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people. 29 You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me 31 You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.
19 You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. (Exodus 22:25)
Reflection: Today’s passage is not only written down in Exodus and repeated in Deuteronomy, it is also a part of the teaching of the New Testament. Romans 13:8 teaches us to “owe no one anything, except to love one another.” So much of our world economy is built upon lending and owing. Some could have very little without the ability to borrow, and others would not be wealthy without the ability to charge interest. The Bible tells us not to borrow money or to charge interest, but we just consider it part of our everyday lifestyle; we all do it, so it’s okay. This passage goes on to remind us that we are to consider the welfare of those less fortunate, and that God will always be compassionate to our neighbor’s cries. Are you surprised by this biblical teaching? We see it broken every day and accepted as a common practice.
Prayer: God of the Wilderness, we pick and choose scriptures based upon our own desires and what works for us, and you know of our unfaithfulness. Forgive us when we choose a few, and discard so many others. Help us to be aware of our neighbor in need, for your scriptures teach compassion. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist