February 9: Speaking Up
Exodus 21:1–23:33; John 4:27–42; Song of Solomon 3:1–2
Because we convince ourselves that people won’t accept our testimony about God’s work in our lives, we’re not usually ready to share it. We might prejudge their reactions or simply lack confidence. Soon, staying silent becomes a way of life. We become accustomed to the monotony and forget our calling in the world.
But we’re called to action. Our words have power, and not because of our own storytelling talent or our ability to tap into others’ emotions. God can and will use our words to draw people to Him through His Spirit—perhaps without our even being aware of it. In John 4:27–42, Jesus uses a Samaritan woman with a tarnished reputation to bring Samaritans (people whom the disciples and the Jews looked down upon) to faith.
Like the disciples, we have to realize the urgency of the good news. We have to show others that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
We are called to action. Verbalizing, with humility, what God has done for us is an important part of faith. We shouldn’t shy away from it or doubt that He will use it to bring others to Himself. This should bring us to a place of confidence and humility. And it should compel us to speak.
Do you speak to others about your faith? How can you begin telling others about the work God has done in you?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Now these are the laws, which thou shalt set before them: If thou buy an Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came himself alone, he shall go out himself alone: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master hath given him a wife and she hath borne hi sons or daughters, her wife and her children shall be her master’s, but he shall go out himself alone. But if the servant say thus, I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go out free, Then his master shall bring him unto the Judges, and set him to the door, or to the post, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever. Likewise if a man sell his daughter to be a servant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himsel, then shall he cause to buy her: he shall have no power to sell her to a strnage people, seeing he despised her. But if he hath betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of the daughters. If he take him another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her raiment, and recompense of her virginity. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free, paying no money. He that smiteth a man, and he die, shall die the death, And if a man hath not laid wait, but God hath offered him into his hand, then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him with guile, thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. Also he that smiteth his father or his mother, shall die the death. When men also strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with a fist, and he die not but lieth in bed. If he rise again and walk without upon his staff, then shall he that smote him go quit, save only he shall bear his charges for his resting, and shall pay for his healing. And if a man smite his servant, or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall be surely punished. But if he continue a day or two days, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Also if men strive and hurt a woman with child, so that her child depart from her and death follow not, he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband shall appoint him, or he shall pay as the Judges determine. But if death follow, then thou shalt pay life for life. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Butning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. And if a man smite his servant in the eye, or his maid inthe eye, and hath perished it, he shall let him go free for his eye. Also if he smite out his servant’s tooth, or his maid’s tooth he shall let him go out free for his tooth. If an ox gore a man or a woman that he die, the ox shall be stoned to death, and his flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall go quite. If the ox were wont to push in times past, and it hath been told his master, and he hath not kept him, and after he killeth a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and his owner shall die also. If there be set to him a sum of money, then he shall pay the ransom of his life, whatsoever shall be laid upon him. Whether he hath gored a son, or gored a daughter, he shall be judged after the same manner.If the ox gore a servant or a maid, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. And when a man shall open a well, or when he shall dig a pit and cover it not, and an ox or an ass fall therein, The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money to hte owner thereof, but the dead beast shall be his. And if a man’s ox hurt his neighbor’s ox that it die, then he shall sell the live ox, and divide the money thereof, and the dead ox also they shall divide. Of if it be known that the ox hath used to push in times past, and his master hath not kept him, he shall pay ox for ox, but hte dead shall be his own. If a man steal an ox or a sheep, and kill it or sell it, he shall restore fve oxen for the ox, and four sheep for the sheep. If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, no blood shall be shed for him. But if it be in the daylight, blood shall be shed for him: for he should make full restitution: if he had not wherewith, then should he be sold for his theft. If the theft be found with him alive, (whether it be ox, ass, or sheep) he shall restore the double. If a man do hurt field, or vineyard, and put in his beast to feed in another man’s field, he shall recompense of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard. If fire break out, and catch in the thorns, and the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field be consumed, he that kindled the fire shall make full restitution. If a man deliver his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of his house, if the thief be found, he shall pay the double. If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the Judges to swear, whether he hath put his hand unto his neighbor’s good, or no. In all manner of trespass, whether it be for oxen, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges, and whom the Judges condemn, he shall pay the double unto the neighbor. If a man deliver unto his neighbor to keep ass, or ox, or sheep, or any beast, and it die, or be hurt, or taken away by enemies, and no man see it, An oath of the Lord shall be between them twain, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbor’s good, and the owner of it shall take the oath, and he shall not make it good: But if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof. If it be torn in pieces, he shall bring record, and shall not make that good, which is devoured. And if a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or else die, the owner threreof not being by, he shall surely make it good. If the owner threof be by, he shall not make it good: for if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire. And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall endow her, and take her to his wife. If her father refuse to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. Whosoever lieth with a beast, shall die the death. He that offereth unto any gods, save unto the Lord only, shall be slain. Moreover, thou shalt not do injury to a stranger, neither oppress hm: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not trouble any widow, nor fatherless child. If thou vex or trouble such, and so he call and cry unto me I will surely hear his cry. Then shall my wrath be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. If thou lend money to my people, that is, to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be as an usurer unto him: ye shall not oppose him with usury. If thou take thy neighbor’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt restore it unto him before the sun go down. For that is his covering only, and this is his garment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? therefore when he crieth unto me, I will hear hm: for I am merciful. Thou shalt not rail upon the Judges, neither speak evil of the ruler of thy people. Thine abundance and thy liquor shalt thou not keep back. The firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give me. Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam, and the eighth day thou shalt give it me. Ye shall be an holy people unto me, neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field: ye shall cast it to the dung. Thou shalt not receive a false tale, neither to do evil, neither agree in a controversy to decline after many and overthrow the truth. Thou shalt not esteem a poor man in his cause. If thou meet thine enemy’s ox, or his ass going astray, thou shalt bring him to him again. If thou see thine enemy’s ass lying under his burden, wilt thou cease to help him? thou shalt help him up again with it. Thou shalt not overthrow the right of the poor in his suit. Thou shalt keep thee far from a false matter, thou shalt not slay the innocent and the righteous: for I will not justify a wicked man. Thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Moreover, six years thou shalt sow thy land, and gather the fruits thereof. But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still, that the poor of thy people may eat, and what they leave, the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt do with thy vineyard, and with thine olive trees. Six days thou shalt do thy work, and in the seventh day thou shalt rest, that thine ox, and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy maid, and the stranger may be refreshed. And ye shall take heed to all things that I have said unto you: and ye shall make no mention of the name of other gods, neither shall it be heard out of thy mouth. Three times shalt thou keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the fest of unleavened bread: thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the season of the month of Abib: for in it thou camest out of Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty. The feast also of the harvest of the first fruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of gathering fruits in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field. These three times in the year shall all thy men children appear before the Lord Jehovah. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifices with leavened bread: neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning. The first of the firstfruits of thy land, thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God: yet shalt thou not seethe a kid in this mother’s milk. Behold, I sent an Angel before thee, to keep thee in thy way, and to bring thee to the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and hear his voice, and provoke him not: for he will not spare your misdeeds, because my name is in him. But if thou hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee. For mine Angel shall go before thee, ad bring thee unto theAmorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, adn I will destroy them. Thou shalt not bow down to theri gods, neither serve them, nor do after the works of them: but utterly overthrow them, and break in pieces their images. For ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread and thy water, and I will take all sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall none cast their fruit, nor be barren in thy land, the number of thy days will I fulfill. I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people among whom thou shalt go: and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee: And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from thy face. I will not cast them out from thy face in one year, lest the land grow to a wilderness, and the beasts of the field ultiply against thee. By little ad ltitle I will drive them out from thy face, until thou icrease, and inherit the land. And I will make thy coasts from the red sea unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the River: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and thou shalt drive them out from thy face. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods: Neither shall they dwell in the land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, surely it shall be thy destruction . Exodus 21:1–23:33
- And upon that, came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with a woman: yet no man said unto him, What askest thou? or why talkest thou with her. The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man which hath told me all things that ever I did: is not he that Christ? In the meanwhile, the disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat, that ye know not of. Then said the disciples between themselves, Hath any man brought him meat? Jesus said unto them, My meat is that I may do the will of him that sen tme, and finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the regions: for they are white already unto harvest. And he that reapeth, receiveth reward, and gathered fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth might rejoice together. For herein is the saying true, that one soweth and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that, whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors. Now many of the Samaritans of that city believed in him, for the saying of the woman which testified, He hath told me all things that ever I did. Then when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him, that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word. And they said unto the woman, now we beleive, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this i sindeed that Christ the Savior of the world. John 4:27–42
- In my bed by night I sought him that my soul loved: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise therefore now, and go about in the city, by the streets, and by the open places, and will seek him that my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. Song of Solomon 3:1–2