We want to look at the laws of reciprocity.
So what is reciprocity ? We will start with a few sayings that used to be said years ago, “What goes around comes around.” You do good and good will come back to you. Another saying was, “If you plant an apple seed you will reap apples.” Another, “You get more than you bargained for.”
Like apples , you may plant one apple seed and grow an apple tree that will give you a harvest of many, many apples. So you see your outcome may be more than you expected, or bargained for, like if you sow evil you will reap evil and maybe even more than what you sowed. That’s the harvest of it all. Reciprocity began from the beginning of the world. It is God’s universal law, like the laws of physics. The law of reciprocity is still in effect today. It is God’s way of justice. When God gave His people His laws in the wilderness, there was no other law in place. Maybe each group of people made their own laws like the code of Hammurabi which goes back to the 1700 BC, but God’s laws have been in place from the beginning of time, and Hammaurabi’s laws were very similar with the laws of reciprocity. God says this in Leviticus 24: 17-23, “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. Whoever takes an animal’s life shall make it good, life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him. Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death. You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.”
So is God saying that it is OK to take revenge? Back when there was no law as we would call “Before Common Era”, this was the law. But when civilization became more society based, which we call the “Common Era” or after the coming of the Messiah or the “Year of the Lord,” people had different laws. The law now left justice in God’s hands and not man’s. Romans 12:17-19 tells us this, “ Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”’
Matthew 7:1-4 says, “ For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. (which is still reciprocity but by God) Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye!”
Galatians 6:7-9 says “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap, (which is still the law of reciprocity). For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit (of God)will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.”
So we see that there’s no getting even, for if we do, we will be judged also.
Matthew 5 :43-48 says this also, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Luke 6: 27-31 says, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
And again in Luke 6:37-38, “ Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
So I ask you, are we now becoming uncivilized people? Have we lost all morals and standards and ethics.? No matter, because reciprocity will still be a universal law and we will reap what we have sown and we will get more than we bargained for. There is one more saying, “Sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind.”
Every decision has consequences; a person’s actions will come back to them; if one starts trouble or takes actions in spite of the discontent they cause, one will incur negative consequences. What we are doing today in our society and what we are being taught in our schools and the actions that we are doing will one day come back to bite us. We are sowing to the wind which represents the world’s ways, and we are going to reap a whirlwind of God’s anger. Our enemies will not have to attack us, for we are attacking ourselves. Famine and drought will overtake us, and America, which once was the greatest and most powerful nation in the world will be nothing more than a weak and poor nation.
Let’s end with this, Romans 1:28-32 tells us, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing [as their Creator], God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and mean-spiritedness. They are gossips [spreading rumors], slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors [of new forms] of evil, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful [without pity]. Although they know God’s righteous decree and His judgment, that those who do such things deserve death, yet they not only do them, but they even [enthusiastically] approve and tolerate others who practice them.”
We have gone in the way of lawlessness and other sins that are an abomination to God. God will have His reciprocity, and we will reap what we have sown as Leviticus 26 tells us, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing season will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. So you will eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down, with no one to make you afraid. I shall also eliminate harmful animals from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. Instead, you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand; and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.” “But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul loathes My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, but rather to break My covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: I will summon a sudden terror against you, consumption and fever that will make the eyes fail and the soul languish; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it. And I will set My face against you so that you will be defeated before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will also break down your pride of power; and I will make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. Your strength will be consumed uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit. ‘Yet if you show hostility toward Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins. And if by these things you do not learn your lesson regarding Me, but you show hostility toward Me, then I in turn will show hostility toward you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins. I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send a plague among you, so that you will be handed over to the enemy. You will eat your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied. ‘Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I for My part will punish you seven times for your sins. I will turn your cities into ruins as well.”
Reciprocity is a powerful universal law. When one will reap what they sow, along with God measuring out for measure, it should cause us to pause and think about what we are doing. It’s never too late to turn around and get right with God, but remember, that the law of reciprocity has to have its way in dealing out justice, that means the fruit of your ways will still reap the harvest of what you have sown. Think about it, and take it to heart, and pause, turn around and reset before you go any further in life.