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It’s a brief teaching in Exodus 30, but it’s message is clear — God values every life the same.

Yes, the blessings from God will vary in content and degree from person to person depending upon faithfulness and Kingdom purposes.

But the cost of redemption is uniform.

In Exodus 30:11-16, we read that every person being counted during a Hebrew census, whenever it occurred, was to pay a half-shekel to the Tabernacle operating treasury. Based on some Internet research, that would have been worth about $13 in our money today.

That, of course, is a pittance compared to what we think life is worth.

When God issued that command for each person — rich or poor — to pay the half-shekel before “crossing over” to the counted, I believe that He wasn’t demanding a ransom but instead making a statement on how one person’s life and worship was not more important than another’s.

The Hebrews knew that God hadn’t sold tickets for inclusion in the Exodus from Egypt. He delivered them all in advance of their financial contribution to His Kingdom.

That’s why most were likely quite willing to pay the half-shekel at census time.

They knew that they were way ahead in the deal and that they’d still be winners even if they would have had to give up all their possessions. You see, before God’s deliverance, they owned nothing, not even their time.

Yet, in deliverance they gained freedom from slavery and gained possessions. Possessions that had actually belonged to others.

With the Exodus 30 teaching, they were being asked to give a small portion of what had been given them.

The Hebrews would later be required to tithe (give 10 percent of money and possessions) to the Lord for support of Kingdom ministry, but that was proportional to the amount of blessing received from God for people in various jobs and life situations.

The tithe offering amount was not a measure of how much a soul was worth, but instead a measure of appreciation for how much God had blessed.

There’s another, more powerful way that God showed His valuing of all humans at the same level — the death of Christ on the cross.

The “whoever” of John 3:16 makes clear that God loves all people to the same extent and is willing to invest the same amount of perfect blood in them to cleanse them of sin if they would choose Jesus as Savior.

So, if God values souls the same, shouldn’t we?

Please love people the same even if they vary in how they reciprocate.

Please be as willing to forgive the irritating person as you are the person compatible with you.

Jesus did these things and so should we.

As always, I love you

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