Restitution – Part 1

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June 2, 2020

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Exodus 21:22-36

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Mat 7:2 KJV)

Many professing Christians have failed to deal honestly with the principle of restitution. It is imperative that we look at this principle and then look inward to determine whether or not we have met the criteria of this principle. What does the word restitution mean?

The only time the word is used in the New Testament is in Acts 3:21. Here the word is referring to a time when restoration will be made to bring affairs back to an original position. The way we are going to look at restitution here is “the act of making good or rendering an equivalent for injury or loss.”

Let’s look at the biblical principle of restitution. The principle of restitution is firmly established in the Law of Moses. It appears in Exodus 21:30-36 and addresses injury to life, limb, or property. In those days, when one’s carelessness led to another’s injury then restitution had to be made. Notice the high cost of carelessness in verse 29. Carelessness was punished severely. That was because the effects of carelessness were often as ruinous to others as that of being malicious or having an open evil intent.

Restitution was necessary in both voluntary and involuntary acts against another, because as creatures of reason we can prevent calamity by forethought and planning. We are responsible for our own carelessness and when others are harmed by our actions, restitution must be made as much as possible. Open ditches, vicious dogs, and wild bulls must be the responsibility of the owners. If we are not willing to make restitution when our dog bites someone, then we should get rid of the dog. Remember, it is godly character to take responsibility for our actions and our possessions.

~ James Baer

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