The Decree of the Law, cont’d. Exodus 19-24
Exodus 21-23 Judgments Governing Social Life, cont’d.
Exodus 22:1-4-Laws concerning theft
Exodus 22:2-3-If a thief is killed by a homeowner during the night, there is no penalty on the homeowner; however, if it is during the day then the family of the thief can seek retribution.
Exodus 22:1,4-A thief has to pay back to the person he stole from more than what he actually stole.
Exodus 22:5-6-Laws concerning property damage
The person who does the damage is responsible for making restitution.
Exodus 22:7-15-Laws concerning dishonesty
These laws deal with a person keeping something for another person...and it is either stolen or destroyed while in his possession. It also deals with a man borrowing something from someone else.
Exodus 22:16-17-Laws concerning immorality
It is against the law to have sex with a virgin...there was a monetary penalty.
Exodus 22:18-23:9-Laws concerning civil and religious obligations
Exodus 22:18-20-The death penalty is applied to a sorceress, anyone who has sex with an animal, someone who sacrifices to another god.
Exodus 22:21-27-Treatment of people who are powerless to fight back, strangers, widow or orphan, poor (do not charge the poor interest on a loan).
Exodus 22:28-Do not curse God, or a ruler.
Exodus 22:29-30-Do not delay giving your sacrifices to God; the first-born male belongs to God.
Exodus 22:31-Be holy to God. The word “holy” means to be separated for a specific purpose. God chose Israel to be a holy nation…a nation that would be separated from the other nations of the world as His chosen people. This separation included certain dietary and social practices that demonstrated that they were a separate, unique nation. As such, they were to exhibit to the other nations what it means to be God’s people. They were to be His poster child. As such, others would see the blessings of being His people and they would come to Him, as well.
Exodus 23:1-Don't allow someone that is wicked to influence your witness.
Exodus 23:2-Don't allow the opinion of the majority to influence your witness.
Exodus 23:3-Don't allow a man's wealth, or poverty to influence your witness.
Exodus 23:4-5-Do good to your enemy.
Exodus 23:6-Don't allow a man's financial status to affect your opinion.
Exodus 23:7-Don't accept a false accusation.
Exodus 23:8-Don't accept a bribe.
Exodus 23:9-Don't oppress strangers unjustly.
Exodus 23:10-19-Laws concerning the Sabbaths and feasts
Exodus 23:10-12-Let the land lie unfarmed on the 7th year...this will "rest...refresh" livestock and people. God had promised that the harvest of the 6th year would provide for the 7th year (cf. Leviticus 25:20-23). What an amazing promise. However, the promise is based on our being faithful to put it into practice. This same principle is active on a weekly basis. We are to work for 6 days and then rest on the 7th day. How many people literally work themselves into an early grave because they work 7 days every week. God is aware of how demanding work can be…so, He provides a way for us to have rest.
Exodus 23:13-Don't even mention the names of other gods...this may be in reference to pagan gods that were believed to control crops and seasons.
Exodus 23:14-19-All adult males were to attend the three annual Feasts at the Tabernacle...
- Unleavened Bread (month of Abib...first of the calendar year, Exodus 12:15)
- Harvest (Pentecost...first fruits, Leviticus 23:15-21)
- Ingathering (Booths...end of the year when you gather in the harvest, Leviticus 23:33-36)
Exodus 23:19-Do not boil a kid in the milk of its mother. This was a common Canaanite ritual involving magic spells.
Exodus 23:20-33-Laws concerning the conquest of the land
Exodus 23:20-21-God is sending an angel ahead of them into the land...obey his voice..."My name is in him"…meaning that he is representative of God and has His authority. Some suggest that this means that it is actually the Lord Himself…though He would be represented by the leaders that He chose.
Exodus 23:22-26-If you obey him you will be blessed...protection from enemies, no sickness, no miscarrying.
Exodus 23:27-31-The angel will gradually drive out the inhabitants of the land.
Exodus 23:32-33-Make no covenants with the inhabitants of the land...do not allow them to continue to live in the land...because you could be tempted to worship their gods.
Exodus 24 Ordinances Governing Religious Life
Exodus 24:1-3-God tells Moses to bring Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel up on the mountain to worship Him at a distance. Only Moses could come near to the LORD. Moses tells the people the words of God...and they agree to follow them.
Exodus 24:4-Moses wrote down the words of God
Exodus 24:5-8-Moses offers a sacrifice to God. The "book of the covenant" was the written account of all that God had told him. The "blood of the covenant” was the blood of the sacrifice that visually demonstrated that a death had been given in order to ratify the covenant that God had made with them.
Exodus 24:9-11-God tells Moses and a select group (24:1,9) to come up the mountain..."and they saw the God of Israel...they beheld God"...yet He did not destroy them. We do not know in what form God appeared to these men.
Exodus 24:12-18-God tells Moses to come alone further up the mountain...to receive the stone tablets with the law and commandment. He told them that while he was gone Aaron and Hur were in charge. He was gone for 40 days and nights.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a separated follower. Help my life to be so filled with Your presence that it is distinctive from others. Let Your Holy Spirit fill every aspect of my life. And let me be a living example of what it means to be Your child…so that others will see Your blessings and be brought to faith in You.