“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)
Today’s text is about the relationship between an employer and his employee. In many situations, the employer will have more money and more power or authority than the hired worker. But this should never lead to oppression or exploitation! God greatly values justice and mercy, no matter one’s social position. Having a high position is never an excuse for exploiting others.
This is stressed in Deuteronomy 24:14-15: “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the LORD, and you be guilty of sin”.
Most of us probably won’t be in the position of hiring workers, and paying employees’ wages every day might not be the best option in many contexts. But we are all somehow part of an economic system that might be more or less fair.
How could today’s Bible verse be applied to your situation? How could you contribute to economic justice?