Daily D – Exodus 23:2-3

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Daily D | 0 comments

David G Bowman Logo

Exodus 23:2, 3  “You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice. And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.” (NLT)

Sometimes you have to oppose a crowd. Sometimes you have to overcome your bias to do what is right, just, fair, and compassionate. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Do it anyway. 

God-shaped values are those hooks we hang our hats on that help us make decisions. Most people share a dozen or so values. There are typically a handful of values that drive us. Have you identified yours? How do you state them? 

Consider a simple test. If I offered you a check for one million dollars, and if that check was legitimate, what would you do with it?

  • Some people would spend it.
  • Some people would save it.
  • Some people would invest it.
  • Some people would give it away.

What you would do with a million dollars is based on your most deeply-held values, your core values. 

A church website I checked out yesterday declared the church’s vision, mission, and goal. Their vision does not meet the definition of the word. Their mission statement is generic. Their goal is imprecise. They also have eight “core” values. These values are not really values. Instead, they are points of theology restated from their very long belief statement. 

Noting these things is not picking on the church or its leadership. These are simply observations from someone (me) who has studied these things deeply for decades. A lack of clarity about how we define ourselves muddies the water for those who long for a refreshing drink of the good news. 

Eight core values are too many. Eight are not really core. Four to six is a more honest number. 

Also, if we say we have certain core values, they should be easy for others to identify in our ordinary lives. 

Values not shaped and refined by the heart of God tend to become biases. We favor some people, places, and things. We hold other people, places, and things at more distance. For example, consider MSNBC and NewsMax. Where do their biases lie? Also, consider the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington team formerly known as the Redskins. 

The fact that I used the name the Washington team used to be known as brings up another bias, doesn’t it? 

There is a point to this exercise. How are you allowing God to reshape and refine your core values? How are you allowing him to shift you from bias to compassion?

The Gospel reshapes our lives. It refines every aspect of our lives. If we are unwilling to allow God entry into our political preferences and ideas of what is right, just, fair, and compassionate, we are installing our values as higher than God’s. Needless to say, that is dangerous ground. 

Today is a good day to reconsider our individual core values. Does God have free access to reshape and refine our filters for daily living?

I will allow our Father in heaven to reshape and refine my values to align completely with his.

Our Father, reshape me. Refine me. Place your thoughts in my mind, your compassion in my heart, and your tools of grace and peace in my hands. Amen. 


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Daily D – 2 Kings 23:25

2 Kings 23:25 Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him.

Daily D – 2 Kings 20:1-6

2 Kings 20:1-6 In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’”

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the Lord’s temple. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the grasp of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”

Daily D – 2 Kings 18:5-7

2 Kings 18:5-7 Hezekiah relied on the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. He remained faithful to the Lord and did not turn from following him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

Daily D – 2 Kings 17:12-15

2 Kings 17:12-15 They served idols, although the Lord had told them, “You must not do this.” Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commands and statutes according to the whole law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through my servants the prophets.” But they would not listen. Instead they became obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God. They rejected his statutes and his covenant he had made with their ancestors and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.

Daily D – 2 Kings 13:4-6

2 Kings 13:4-6 Then Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s favor, and the Lord heard him, for he saw the oppression the king of Aram inflicted on Israel. Therefore, the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, and they escaped from the power of the Arameans. Then the people of Israel returned to their former way of life, but they didn’t turn away from the sins that the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. Jehoahaz continued them, and the Asherah pole also remained standing in Samaria.