Daily D – Leviticus 19:32-34
Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (NLT)
God commands us to provide special attention and protection for those who are the most vulnerable among us. He tells us to love them as we love ourselves. This is his instruction for insiders and outsiders alike.
To love another as you love yourself is not the same thing as self-adulation as practiced on Tik Tok and other social media. Instead, we are to practice caring for others as we practice taking care of ourselves.
Baseball season, thankfully, is coming soon. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a matter of days. This, as the old song says, is the most wonderful time of the year.
Listen to a fantasy baseball podcast leading up to the season. As guys like me prepare to draft players for our teams, we consider what the experts say is a player’s floor and ceiling.
A player’s floor indicates his statistics at the base level. It is how you can reasonably expect him to perform at his worst. His ceiling, on the other hand, is how he would perform at his best.
The most vulnerable among us, including the aged and aging and the foreigners living among us, have well-established floors. They also have the possibility of significant ceilings.
The aged, in the words of an insurance company’s commercial campaign, “Know a few things because they have seen a few things.” Lean into their wisdom.
The foreigners want for their families what you want for your family. They desire peace and safety and opportunities to provide better lives for their children.
One of those children is now an adult with a master’s degree and a ministry position in a significant organization. Her work adds value to the Kingdom of God and to our communities. She is wise beyond her years. She has a God-given vision as big as the whole world.
Rise in the presence of your elders. Empower those who stand in the shadows. Join God in building a world of respect and generosity of spirit toward those who are vulnerable and yet especially valuable to our Father in heaven.
I will protect, defend, and serve the most vulnerable among us.
Our Father, grow us in the grace of respect. Train us in the ministry of empowerment and protection for the vulnerable. Give us eyes to see every person as you see them. Do not let us fixate on their floor value. Instead, empower us to see all they can become as you mold and shape them and give them ceilings at least as high as those of us who are more privileged by age, wealth, and opportunity. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”