God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6 - Exodus 22-24: God's Chosen People Must Be Holy

Today’s Reading: Exodus 22-24

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

These laws are made to set things right between each of the people. As you read each law, ask yourself the question, "How does this make things right?"

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God gave rules regarding the following: the theft of animals; of grazing land, and of property entrusted to friends; stolen virginity; sorcery; idolatry; bestiality; the treatment of strangers, orphans, widows, those in debt, and Israelite leaders; giving; lifestyle; perverting justice (for or against the poor); Sabbath days and Sabbath years; and festivals.
God would send His Angel to punish the ones who worshipped other gods in Canaan. He would give Israel their land. They were to prevent any influence to worship other gods.
Moses and Joshua went before God to receive tablets of the Law. They were gone forty days.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God mandated that foreigners were not to be mistreated.

God uses the fact that the Israelites were foreigners in the land of Egypt as the reason they were not to mistreat a foreigner. This is crucial to understanding God's mindset. God sets things right by treating all people the same. No one is outside his protection.

The people were to be holy.

This is a law that will be repeated over and over. God wants people wholly devoted to Him (holy). These are not so much physical issues but spiritual ones that have physical aspects to them. The first example is not being a scavenger. God provides for His people. They do not need to eat animals that were killed by wild animals. Holy people live clean lives and stay away from things associated with evil. What that looks like for people today should be agreed to in each community.

God abhors favoritism—for or against the poor.

We all know God loves the poor. Jesus gave a beatitude about the poor. But God sets things right on earth through justice. So if they are being oppressed, they should receive justice. But if they want to take from the rich for themselves, justice must prevent them. Notice God says, "When there is a dispute concerning your poor, don't tamper with the justice due them." (23:6, The Message). Either way, justice must be done. I find application of this when discussing the rich—especially in politics. Justice cannot be done by exploiting the rich any more than exploiting the poor.

God punished the people of Canaan for worshipping other Gods. God wanted the land pure to prevent syncretism.

God wanted to drive out the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites not because the Israelites were His Chosen People but because these people groups would not submit to Him. God told the Israelites
don't worship or serve their gods; don't do anything they do because I'm going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits. (23:24, The Message)
He did not want these groups to stay in the same land but be driven out.
Don't make any deals with them or their gods. They are not to stay in the same country with you lest they get you to sin by worshiping their gods. Beware. That's a huge danger. (23:32-33)
We must keep ourselves away from people who worship other gods because we must be wholly for the Creator of the Universe.

I would love to spend 2,000 words commenting on each law and how it helps God make things right on the earth, but I want you to join in the conversation. So, leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page. Pick out a law. How do you see this law aiding God in setting all things right on earth?

If you missed a reading or want to go to a specific date, type the link as follows:
That will take you to the reading for that day. Enjoy!