You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. —Leviticus 19:13
The first five books in the Old Testament (Pentateuch) tell the story of God’s creation of a nation who would serve him and worship him—and through whom he could bless the rest of the world. A lot of the Pentateuch is full of expectations and laws about how Israelites would treat each other and those outside of their community.
These passages can often feel laborious, but it’s nice to see how seriously God takes treating each other with dignity and respect. Here the Lord instructs them on how to treat their fellow Israelite. (Jesus will dramatically change the definition of neighbor later.)
We’re told that Israelites shouldn’t oppress their neighbor or help themselves to each other’s property. As an example, we’re told that a boss shouldn’t withhold the wages of an employee. This advice comes from a time when daily wages were needed to meet daily expenses.
The important thing to notice here is that the boss is only holding the wages overnight. It’s not as if he’s trying to keep them from the worker. It could be that he simply forgot. The point is that the worker needs to be paid for work in a way that allows him to look after his personal needs. And more importantly, God is paying attention to these kinds of details.
This article was originally published on October 31, 2016 by CDFAcapital.org. Article re-posted with permission. Click here to read the original article.