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Dignity

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Talebearers [Lev 19.16] were among you - for the sake of bloodshed; upon the mountains they ate among you; evil plans [ the word here can also be used for lewdness and forbidden sexual relations as in Judges 20.6] did they lay in your midst. A father's nakedness he uncovered with in you [Lev 20.11]; women in impurity they afflicted within you [Lev 20.18]. A man against his neighbor's wife would commit abomination [Lev 20.10]; and a man would defile [sic] his daughter-in-law with lewdness [Lev 20.12]; and a man would inflict his sister - his father's daughter - within you {Lev 20.17]. Bribery they took within you, for the sake of bloodshed {Deut 27.35, Lev 19.15]; interest and increase you have taken [Lev 25.36] and enriched your friends with loot - but Me you have forgotten. The words of my Lord Hashem/Elohim. Now behold! I have pounded My hand because of your robbery which you committed, and because of the bloodshed which was in your midst (Ezekiel 22. 9-13).

As I was reading this, I could not help but think of Robert Burns' poem 'Man Was Made to Mourn,' from whence comes the line, 'man's inhumanity to man….' The last time I thought of that line was when I ascended the Har ha-Zeitim (Mount of Olives) and stopped at the cemetery there. When I saw the carnage of the headstones and grave sites the Jordanians had done. The remains had done nothing to them. It was just pure hatred.

Everyone of Ezekiel's words were sins against their fellow man. They violated the one command that the 'image of God' was not to violated for that in essence blasphemed God. According to the Sages robbery is listed last, indicating it is the worst sin. This comment is made in the Chiddushei Aggadah, Sanhedrin which clarifies that thought - In contrast to the other sins which do not extend beyond the moment of transgression, robbery is the sin that continues if the stolen property remains in the thief's possession. A society which condones robbery is rife with sin. [Emphasis mine.] This comment is within the context of Ezekiel. I wrote in the margin that robbery is more than stealing stuff. It takes away one's dignity. It takes away trust. It takes away one's security. It violates the victim. It victimizes the 'image of God.'

Two things: This is where we as a country seem to be in our history. People increasingly are not thinking of the other person based on their words and actions, even those who claim to trust in God and Messiah Yeshua. We can observe the fruits of fellow believers and come to conclusions. One would seriously question their walk with God by their words. We are to be a light as Yeshua is the Light.

  1. We are allowed our opinions on any subject, but we are first and foremost ambassadors for the King and Kingdom.
  2. Second, we are to always think of 'even our enemy' as the image of God. We do not curse them or gloat in their downfall. If we all did that, we certainly would begin a change.

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