TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
SCRIPTURE: 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.