11 November 2014

BSF 2014-2015: Exodus 21-24

Since their beginning, God called the Israelites to live differently, to live holy lives that reflected Himself to the other nations. Last week, God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites and all of humanity. These commandments are called the moral law. This week, we see God giving the civil law to the Israelites. The civil law is the application of the moral law.

The civil law explains how the Israelites should take care of their slaves, how they should handle premeditated and accidental personal injuries, how they should avoid sorcery and idolatry, how they should care for widows and orphans, how they should rest on the Sabbath and how they should worship God together at three annual festivals.

Many other laws are included in Exodus 21:1-23:19. Some of the themes of the civil law are:

  • The punishment must fit the crime.
  • There must be restitution, which is repayment and restoration, after a wrong.
  • God sees sanctity in life.
  • Do not be like the pagan nations and act like you are set apart for God.

After giving the civil law, God promises to send His angel to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. This angel is the preincarnate Christ. He protects the Israelites on their journey. God instructs the Israelites to pay attention to the angel and obey Him. God promises blessings, care and provisions. He also promises to defeat the Israelites’ enemies.

Next, God calls Moses to the top of the mountain along with Aaron, his two sons and the 70 elders. Moses writes down God’s laws and shares them with the Israelites. The people promise to do everything God asks them to do. Then Moses offers sacrifices to God for the people’s sins. Finally, Moses spends 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain with God.

Things to Think About

  • How well do I obey the Ten Commandments?
  • How well do I obey the civil laws, the application of the Ten Commandments?
  • How quickly do I make restitution when it is needed?
  • Do I obey out of convenience or out of love for God?
  • Do I obey when the obedience is painful?