16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and has sex with her, he should give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he should still pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins. 18 “You must not allow a sorceress to live. 19 “Whoever has sex with an animal should be put to death. 20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, should be set apart for destruction. 21 “You should not take advantage of a temporary resident or oppress him, because you were temporary residents in the land of Egypt. 22 You should not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
These examples sited are all ways that someone might take advantage of someone else for his own personal gain. The LORD wanted his community to know that he was watching, and that the community was responsible to see to it that the weaker parties were not taken advantage of. If the community did not step in and seek justice for the mistreated, the God himself would break out against his own community.
Who is it that speaks for the abused and mistreated today? God’s people still have this role. If we are too busy doing our religious thing that we don’t not stop and seek justice for the mistreated, we should not be surprised when the LORD lashes out against the land. We have a responsibility to protect the weak and innocent from those who take advantage of them.
LORD, make us protectors of the unprotected, defenders of the defenseless.