Exodus 22

“If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry …” (v23). Behind the idea of “justice” in the Mosaic Law was the belief that God existed and desired righteousness, truth, honesty, mercy, and compassion.  God’s character was the foundation for the other commandments (though they were filtered through the culture of that time).  The Israelites were commanded to show mercy to foreigners, widows, and orphans not simply because it was the Law, but because God Himself was watching.

“I will hear, for I am compassionate” (v27).  Society’s laws can only skim the surface and limit harm, but God sees our hearts and desires us to do good for His sake.