Daily Thoughts : January 7th
Deut 22:8 When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.
Sometimes the Law seems to say things that seem so mundane you wonder why they take up space in the Bible. What is the point of this little bit of practical advice? What is it really saying?
Houses in their culture tended to have flat roofs which meant there was probably access to them whereby people could walk on them. This simple instruction simply said, ensure you put a parapet or wall around the outside so that people (children perhaps?) won't go too close to the edge and fall off and kill themselves, because if they do it will be your fault! In other words, when you build your house, think about how it will be used and consider other people and make sure you protect them from harm.
Put in a more general sense, here is a simple instruction that says, think about what you do in life and make sure you don't do anything that could result in the harm or even death of someone else. It actually places a duty of care upon us in respect of other people who might be harmed by our actions, or lack of actions. Think what you are doing, is the thrust of this simple law. We live in a world with other people and we need to take them into account when we are doing things. We can't just say, well they ought to look out for themselves and, in this instance, stay away from the edge. No, think about them and act carefully.
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