Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 21, 2022

“To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.” – “He leads the humble in justice” – “The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 21:26-36.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only verses 28-29 and 33-34.

“If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten;  but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished.  If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. 

“If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restitution;  he shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.”  Exodus 21:28-29 and 33-34.  


“To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3.

Through His Word, God is teaching people what is justice.  The situations that we encounter in the world are so numerous that Scripture cannot cover each specific situation.  But, if we diligently read and meditate on God’s Word, then we will know general justice principles and can apply them to help us do justice in every specific situation.

“He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.” Psalm 21:9.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
3 To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
4 To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,” Proverbs 1:1-5.

Today’s Scripture about the ox teaches us general lessons about justice.     

Justice teaches us that there is greater liability for personal injuries or death than liability for property damages.  

This certainly should make sense, but do we take it to heart and drive much more carefully when we are driving near pedestrians than when we are driving near other cars where we may “only” scratch or dent their car?

Justice also teaches us that there is greater liability where we knew, or should have known, that our activities present danger to other persons and we could have easily prevented it.  

Consider the sharp distinction where a man’s ox gored a man or a woman to death but he did not know that his ox was dangerous to others (punishment was just death to the ox) compared to where he was warned and did know that his ox was dangerous to others but did not properly confine it as he could have easily have done and prevented death or injuries to other (punishment was death to the owner of the ox).     

But, there is hope!

“The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But is terror to the workers of iniquity.” Proverbs 21:15.

“30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.” Psalm 37:30-31.

“How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
3 They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
4 You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!” Psalm 119:1-5.


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