“And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner.” (Exodus 21:33-34)
Here again we have some verses that might seem strange to some as the basis for an inspirational thought. Nevertheless, in anything that the Creator gives instruction, there is something that we need to take to heart above and beyond what we see on the surface. Once again, we see that Creator considers the less fortunate and those who are in service to others — in this case, the beasts of the field. Beyond that, however, is the provocation for His people to be diligent to take care of their own business and not be lazy and apathetic.
In this particular case, God addresses consequences for people who might behave in a negligent way. If someone is guilty of such to the extent that someone else suffers, the responsible party must make things right. In short, it is important that God’s people consider others and the welfare of their fellow even as we conduct our own business. It should never be that we care only for ourselves but for the good of the community at large. In the book of Acts, we are told time and again that the believers lived sacrificially with an eye on the good of the community at large.
The Bible is clear that God created us with the ability and the need to work. It is also clear that God gave us this ability, not exclusively for our own personal interest, but with the interests of others in mind. I guess we could say that the instruction given above is just another example of how we are expected to “love your neighbor as yourself.” It may not come naturally to us but it is, nevertheless, expected of us to do just that. Prefer your brother and you provide evidence that you truly love your Heavenly Father.
Blessings and Shalom,