27 September 2007

Exodus 23:1-9

"You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice." (v.2)


The Hebrew people were a people on the move - they were nomadic - they needed to develop their own rules for their community to function. Many of the rules have the same running theme; and often that is justice and fairness.

Like the Hebrew people, Christians live in a small community within a larger one. We may get a sense of pride when we pass a wayside notice board proclaiming justice in the name of God.

It is easy to have pride in our commitment to justice when it is theoretical. Similarly, the laws of the Bible seem so easy to abide by when we simply read them; and yet, how hard it can be when we are standing alongside some one who has been mistreated.

This is the story of a woman in a church who spoke out against injustice when she saw it:

"It got to the point where I walked in to a room and people greeted me with 'here's trouble'. This undermined my confidence and I praise God for the strength given to me when sometime later, I was able to find the courage to stand alongside some women who were being harassed. As the months went by, others who were witnesses dropped by the wayside, it was hard to stick with it as it meant going against the crowd."

To Ponder

Can we apply this teaching to international issues of justice?

How engaged are we in issues of justice in the UK? Do you 'zone out' when a news item is about law reform?

Are there any issues of injustice you are aware of in your community where you could be a better witness?

Bible notes author

Alison Parker

Alison Parker worked as the Equalities and Diversity Project Officer for the Methodist Church. She worked to bring together a theology of equalities and diversity, an equal opportunities policy for the Methodist Church, and a resource for local churches to use to support us as we celebrate diversity and seek equality.