Deuteronomy 24:14, 15
You shall not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of your brothers…
Thoughtlessness is a flimsy excuse for neglected duty. It is a sin to be thoughtless. One talent is buried in the earth. In proportion to the mischief produced is the punishment thereof.
I. WE HAVE HERE A CASE OF OBLIGATION FULLY MATURED.
1. The rich is debtor to the poor. Obligation between the several ranks of society is equal. The rich rely for many services upon the poor. The king depends upon the cook. The laborer gives his strength, the employer contributes his money. There is as much obligation on the one side as on the other.
2. At a fixed point of time the obligation is matured. Henceforth the neglect of the obligation becomes sin. My obligations today differ from those of yesterday. The element of time plays an important part. Obligations grow.
3. Obligations are implied as well as expressed. Custom is unwritten law. Riches carry with them no warrant for arrogance. Riches have cursed the man if they have made him churlish.
II. NEGLECTED OBLIGATION ENTAILS UNKNOWN MISERY. We cannot follow the effects of thoughtlessness into all their intricate ramifications and to their utmost issues. What would be regarded as a trivial disappointment on the part of one man may be an agony of pain to another. Wages expected and deferred may mean to a needy laborer pinching hunger, not only to himself, but to feeble wife and to helpless babes. A gloomy and sleepless night may follow. Bitter and angry feelings may be engendered. Faith in human integrity may be lost. Self-restraint may vanish. For want of a nail a shoe was lost, a battle was lost, ay, an empire fell!
III. NEGLECTED OBLIGATION MAY BRING HEAVY CURSE UPON THE CULPRIT. It is not safe to treat any human being with contempt, especially the poor. God is the avowed Champion of such. The command, "Honor all men," is as binding as "Thou shalt not steal." The cry of the injured man in his distress is sure to pierce the skies. The ear of God is specially attent to his children's suffering cry, even as a mother catches the plaintive wail of her firstborn infant. Swiftly God attaches himself to the side of the oppressed, and takes upon himself the burden. The injustice done to the man becomes an insult done to God. The deed alters in its character, intensifies in its immorality, becomes heinous sin. Vials of wrath are preparing for the head of the unthinking transgressor. It will be as the sin of blasphemy or of murder unto them. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: