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ESOCS Devotional 20 February 2023: Another Dimension to Mercy

ESOCS Daily Devotional

ESOCS Devotional 20 February 2023



“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”    Matthew 5:38

One of the topics Jesus taught during His sermon on the mount was the laws of retaliation. In our text, He taught against the concept of retaliation. The Jews twisted the teaching of this Sinai law. The “eye for an eye” was a civil law of the Sinai law where the people had the authority to punish offenders. But God’s purpose behind this law was an expression of mercy. It was given to the judges and said in effect, “make the punishment equivalent to the crime.” It was not a guide for personal revenge. Rather, it was given to limit vengeance and help the court give a punishment that was neither too strict nor too lenient. But some of them were using the phrase to justify their vendettas against others.

Today, just like in the Bible days, some people still try to excuse their acts of revenge by saying, “If I do you as you do me, God no go vex” or “I did to him what he did to me”. But Jesus said we should do good to those who wrong us. Our desire should not be to keep malice or to revenge but to love and forgive. 

Definitely, by our strength, we cannot do this; it is not natural but supernatural. We can trust God to give us the enabling strength to love as He does. Love drives mercy. Instead of planning vengeance, we should cultivate the habit of praying for those who hurt us.

  • There are many things that cause people to retaliate. Identify yours.
  • May God give us the strength to rise above any such challenges as identified. 

FURTHER READING: Exodus 21: 23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20; Deut. 19:21; Luke 6:29-30

Read Yesterday’s ESOCS Devotional here

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ESOCS Devotional 20 February 2023

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