You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them…
In a healthy state, our souls should so overflow with love, that every neighbor should be regarded as a brother. If the esteem should not at first be reciprocated, our kindness would soften his asperity and make him a better man. In the long run, kindness will produce kindness.
I. PROPERTY HAS ITS CARES AS WELL AS ITS ADVANTAGES. Our earthly possessions have many drawbacks, and are always subject to injury and loss. Hence it is wisdom to hold them lightly, and to grieve little over their diminution. This insecurity is an indication of their inferiority. But the possessions of the soul, viz. wisdom, righteousness, faith, love, patience, are inalienable. The "things unseen are eternal."
II. EARTHLY LIFE IS A FINE FIELD FOR KINDLY SERVICE. The ills and trials which are incident to the present life provide full scope for active sympathy and help. We can scarcely imagine a condition of life in which could be afforded such room for the culture and discipline of the best affections. Every station in life gives opportunity for doing service to others. Every day we hear some new call to duty. We thus train ourselves for higher service. We become more qualified to do good on a large scale, are qualified to rule.
III. NEGLECT TO SHOW KINDNESS IS A SIN.
1. It is sin, inasmuch as it is a plain violation of God's command. As Creator and King, he has a right to make law and to enforce it.
2. It is sin, inasmuch as it is disloyalty to our best feelings. The instinct to show kindness is a part of our constitutional nature.
3. It is sin, inasmuch as it consciously allows injury to be done. The ox or ass that has wandered today, will have wandered further (if not recovered) tomorrow; may be irrecoverable then. The gold that is not occupied rusts. To hide our light under a bushel is sin.
IV. GENEROUS KINDNESS IS MORE REMUNERATIVE THAN SELFISHNESS. Generous and self-forgetful kindness brings returns of blessing to the soul. The treasury of the heart is enriched. We gain wealth that is imperishable. We obtain a good name among men, and live in their affectionate memory. We secure, in some measure, the favor of our God. We are in truth, by kindly service, laying up large store of good for coming days. "Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive." - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.