FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 21
BY: Jeremy Witt
As we begin these chapters involving the Law, one of the first questions many ask is whether these laws apply to us today since we are under the new covenant. Let me answer that question first by saying, “Yes” and “No.” Yes, they apply to us today specifically when they are repeated in the New Testament. So any laws repeated apply to us today, but those laws that are not repeated give us truths and principles that will help us while the specific law itself may not apply.
For example, in chapter 21, it speaks of slaves in verses 1-11. We do not own slaves, but we can learn principles how we should treat people properly.
Verses 12-36 speak of how to properly deal with others, their property, etc when injury or damage is done. As you read, do you notice where grace and mercy are shown? But do you notice judgment for wrongdoing? God cares about people regardless of class, race, education, etc and calls us to treat people honorably and respectfully. Don’t get caught up in all the laws but see the big picture. God was calling the people to be different from everyone else. These laws were given to help the Israelites be different and to be the people of God. Keep this in mind as we read through these laws. The purpose behind the Law was to help the people worship God and to be the priests of God.
That bears the question, so what were the priests to do? The priest’s purpose was to take the people to God. The priest would take the sins of the people to God and ask for forgiveness to God. The priest would offer sacrifices for the people to God. So what about the prophets in the Old Testament? The role of the prophet in the Old Testament was to speak for God to the people. Since we live in the New Testament or under the new covenant because of what Jesus did for us, we are to be the priests to the nations today. Wherever we go, we are to help take people to the LORD God.