Responsibility +

Jeff Weinkauf


Deuteronomy 22:1-4

1-3If you see your kinsman’s ox or sheep wandering off loose, don’t look the other way as if you didn’t see it. Return it promptly. If your fellow Israelite is not close by or you don’t know whose it is, take the animal home with you and take care of it until your fellow asks about it. Then return it to him. Do the same if it’s his donkey or a piece of clothing or anything else your fellow Israelite loses. Don’t look the other way as if you didn’t see it.

4If you see your fellow’s donkey or ox injured along the road, don’t look the other way. Help him get it up and on its way.


Helping out a brother, going above and beyond, not stopping only at being aware of the need but also choosing to engage it. That’s the focus of Deuteronomy 22:1-4.

I like how Moses walks us through from the easy solve (take responsibility and return it), all the way to what can be viewed as a real sacrifice (take it home and care for it until someone comes looking for it). He’s saying weather its easy or hard I need to make time to help. Also he makes sure to mention to do it “promptly”. Make it a priority.


We’re all busy, and with that tyranny of the urgent can sometimes come a dulling of our sensitivity to need. We’re managing so many moments that we pass new needs almost as if to say “I can help if you will come back with your need is more convenient”. Ok, I know very few of us actually consciously say those words, but look at what Moses says in verse 1, “…don’t look the other way as if you didn’t see it…” That’s what we sometimes do, what I sometimes do, choose not to engage but power on to the thing I was headed towards when the “interruption” came.

What God says, through Moses is – that’s not Ok. I need to not only take responsibility, but rather take responsibility PLUS. Keep your eyes open for needs. Don’t just return that thing, return it well cared for and right away. Look out for our “kinsmen” and treat their needs as my own. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31) The Golden Rule.


Father in Heaven – please help me to keep my eyes open, and my margins flexible so that I’m ready to help a brother out. Amen.

Devotions for March 13

Deuteronomy 22,23,24
Galatians 4

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