“You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. 2 And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. 3 And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother's, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. 4 You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.” (Deut. 22:1-4 ~ ESV)
Did you see the “see / ignore” in both vs. 1 & 4?
Go ahead, look. I’ll wait.
If you see a need and ignore it - don’t help - you have sinned against your brother.
Find something that’s not yours?
Tend to it. Get it back to its owner. Seek to reunite them.
Notice a need bigger than can be done alone
- a downed donkey - an emergency repair, a huge project?
Grab a wrench, lend a hand, a skill give an hour, a twenty.
This “Various Laws” passage could easily be called a “love your neighbor as yourself” text. Does the Good Samaritan story comes to mind? It does now. These “random rules” answer one of Scripture’s first questions (an attempted responsibility dodge): “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). When able, we are to help as we can.
What a great passage for parents to use to help clarify and enforce as they teach their kids to return treasures they find and want to keep. “Finders keepers, losers weepers” is seeing and ignoring. It is acting as if found money, phones or cool shades are not someone’s property.
Note: helping others can be inconvenient – a serious schedule interrupter. Catching, corralling, feeding and cleaning up after an errant donkey is no five minute duty.
One might wish to wear blinders. Ignorance is bliss? What ya don’t know can’t hurt ya? Wrong. It hurts others. It offends Their Maker. He sees you see and sent you to help. We are to live with eyes open to needs around us and then do what we can to help.
“You shall not see… and ignore… you shall restore…
“You shall help him to lift them up again…”
Shades of “do unto others….”? Yep?
Be good as gold, help meet other’s needs.