[From May 15, 2012]
"Slaves who have escaped to you from their owners shall not be given back to them. They shall reside with you, in your midst, in any place they choose in any one of your towns."
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I read the laws from Exodus to Deuteronomy. Many are so practical & logical. They're often about doing the right thing and thinking of others (not just yourself). Today I was reading Deuteronomy & found 2 such items:
- DEUTERONOMY 22:1-3 says that if we see a neighbor's animal starting to stray, we can't ignore it. "It's not my problem" doesn't fly with God. Go get it! Take it back to its owner. If you don't know who the owner is, take it home and care for it until the owner is found & claims it.
- DEUTERONOMY 23:15-16 speaks of runaway slaves. Even though slaves were considered by many to be like animals (personal property of an "owner"), God doesn't see it that way. Runaway slaves are permitted to stay with you. Don't send them back! I can only imagine God knew that if they ran away, they probably were in some unhealthy relationship. God allows for new life & new starts.