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Devotion for July 9, 2010

While speaking to a group of business school students at a prominent American university, a retired executive described that there is no such thing as business ethics. Rather, he continued, there are simply ethical people in business. The successful businessman explained how following Jesus had transformed his relationships with others in all aspects of his life, including business. In our passage today, justice in one’s business and personal life reflects a right relationship with God.

Deuteronomy 10:12–22 is Moses’ passionate plea that the Israelites would wholeheartedly love and obey God. Moses reminds the people that God is the sovereign creator who forged a special relationship with them. To “walk in all his ways” is not primarily about compulsion. It is about a loving response to God in the context of their covenant relationship with Him (vv. 12–13). God’s people are called to “circumcise” their hearts, to renounce hardheartedness in exchange for hearts that reflect His love, mercy, and forgiveness (vv. 16–22). Once again, God’s love for the disadvantaged in society is highlighted (vv. 18–19). Moses reminds them that they know what it is like to be a foreigner in Egypt, and they know what it is like to experience the Lord’s salvation and protection. Therefore, love those who are “aliens” among you, sojourners, immigrants, and refugees.

Deuteronomy 24:10–22 describes specific ways in which God’s people are instructed to emulate His love for vulnerable people in the community. The passage is concerned with the poor who need loans and live paycheck to paycheck hoping to stay afloat (vv. 10–15). It also considers the refugee, immigrant, orphan, and widow who have no social safety net to rely upon for provision and protection (vv. 17–22). The instructions to care for these people reflect God’s patience, compassion, and generosity, and they preserve people’s dignity and prevent exploitation. Caring for the poor and weak is pleasing in God’s sight and embodies what it means to be “righteous” (v. 13). In fact, neglecting this kind of care is called sin in verse 15.

Apply the Word

From a worldly perspective, the behavior advocated in today’s reading is risky and even laughable. Walking in God’s ways requires trust and cultivating a generous, compassionate heart like His. Let the Holy Spirit search your heart and expose any fears you may have that keep you from living justly in your business and personal life. Renounce whatever prevents you from recognizing God as faithful and trustworthy (10:16–17). Ask God to reveal specific ways you can reflect His love, mercy, and forgiveness to vulnerable people.

BY Amber Jipp

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