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Exodus 23-24





BY: Jeremy Witt

Prepare yourself because I am combining two chapters today.  Our first chapter today begins with a variety of laws to ensure justice, particularly for those who were typically taken advantage of, that being the poor and the foreigner.  These laws covered everything from gossip (verse 1) to helping your enemy (verse 4), taking bribes (verse 9), to giving the land rest as well as the animals, etc. (verse 10-12).  These laws are given to help the people to become what God designed as priests to the rest of the world.  They were called to be different, to be fair and honest, and to be people of justice as well as looking out for the forgotten.

God tells Moses to celebrate three festivals.  These annual festivals are told to be celebrated, the Feast of Unleavened bread which corresponds to the Passover, the Feast of the Harvest or later called the Feast of Weeks which is an offering to God of the first fruits/crops, and the Feast of the Ingathering (Final Harvest) or Feast of Tabernacles after everything is brought into the storehouse.  At each one of these festivals, men were to go to the tabernacle or temple.

Verses 20-33 refer to the promise of the LORD’s presence to be with the people as they prepare and go into the land for conquest.  God calls for obedience and being different from the nations around the people.  They are to obey God’s law and if they do, God promises protection, blessing, and victory.  They are to serve the LORD only and not to worship any of the gods of the local peoples or make treaties with these people.  If they are faithful, God promises to put fear in the people of the land ahead of them.

Chapter 24 tells us that Israel accepts the covenant with God and pledges to obey Him and His laws.  Moses sets up an altar in verse 4 and burns peace offerings and sacrifices before the LORD.  Notice the blood in verse 6 as blood is used as the forgiveness of sins.  This is why Jesus was and is our only hope to be the pure, perfect sacrifice that would cover our sins once for all time.  His blood is what covers our sins before God.  Go to verse 8 and see what Moses does with the blood.  God is the sovereign Judge and is absolutely holy.  This sacrifice and the blood was the temporary substitute for the sinners.  Jesus is our permanent sacrifice.  The animal’s life stood in place for the person, but the blood symbolized the life  that was spared as a result.  This is a picture of Jesus for us of what He did at the cross.  He substituted Himself on our behalf.  See Hebrews 9:9-10:28 for more in depth of what Jesus did as our sacrifice.

Oh I wish I could have seen what took place in verses 9-11.  They got to share a meal with the LORD.  Most likely this is a theophany (physical showing of Jesus in the Old Testament) as Jesus is the physical representation of the LORD God to man.  Oh what a sight that must have been! 

Verses 12-18 are Moses getting the stone tablets from God.  But did you notice verses 13-14 of who was with Moses?  This is critical for that man later when he takes Moses’ place.  This was preparation for Joshua to become the next leader of the nation of Israel. 

God is always at work.  Even when we are unaware of it, God is working for His Will and our best.  If we will be faithful and obedient to Him, just like the promise to the Israelites, God will lead us and help us.  We need to trust in this and remember it daily.

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Exodus 22





BY: Jeremy Witt

Because repetition is good for us to learn, let me start out with something from our previous  devotional.  As we read these Old Testament laws, do they apply to us today?  How are we to   understand them today if we are not bound to them?  First, if they are repeated in the New    Testament, then yes, we are bound to them.  If not repeated, what principles or truths can they teach us?  Even if the law doesn’t apply to us today, we need to ask what or how would God want us to learn and understand from these today? 

What we begin to see is that God’s truths and principles are being put into action for the people of Israel.  These are not picky laws, but they are real-life potential scenarios where God  illustrates how to live a life under justice and mercy.  These rules provided the Israelites  guidance in how to:  protect the nation, organize the nation, to focus the attention on God, to be good neighbors, and how to deal with crime (punishment fits the crime.) 

Chapter 22 focuses us on restitution or making wrongs right.  Verses 1-15 cover property rights and proper punishments that fit the crime.  See verses 3-4.  If you steal, you pay back two times the value.  It also shows us personal responsibility through a variety of examples from verses   5-6.  We are responsible for our property and animals along with their safety. 

Verses 9-15 are scenarios where there might disagreements between people that are to be brought before God.  Can you believe that people would disagree and not get along?  We would never have that problem today! (read that in a strong sarcastic tone)

Verses 16 and following deal with a wide variety of laws.  Read verse 18.  Why so strong?  Go read Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10-12.  Sorcery, witchcraft, divination, etc are sins against God directly.  To evoke evil/satanic powers violated the first commandment.     Sorcery is trusting/relying/listening/worshipping/straight rebellion against God Himself. It is choosing Satan over God.  What are ways people do this today?  Fortune telling, palm reading, psychics, ouija boards, and more are just a few examples.  Christ-followers are called to place our faith and trust in the LORD God only.  Our hope is in the blood of Jesus and in His resurrection.

Verse 21 reminds the Israelites that they too were foreigners in another land.  I realize that this may hit a nerve, but this word today could be refugees, and that the Israelites were to remember how they were treated and to treat foreigners fairly.  Scripture calls us to be sensitive to the   foreigners as they are in a new place, new culture, new language, etc.  This is an example where the principles/truths of the Old Testament applies to us today.

This idea of watching out for those around us is carried out further to the widows and orphans in verses 22-24 as it is in the New Testament repeatedly.

The remaining portion of the chapter deal with lending money, offerings to God, and remaining holy as God desires.

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