Exodus 22:9,20-23,25,28-29,31 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor... “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed. “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry... “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest... “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people. “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You must give me the firstborn of your sons... “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
It is obvious that God wanted to set out clearly what His expectation for the Israelites were through of the detail in the laws He laid down for them. The ten commandments were the foundations of the law and each of these laws reflect them in nature and character.
It must have been a great relief to Moses and the elders of Israel that they now had a structure to work in and under and thereby could keep up order among the masses.
Today's chapter covers laws on livestock, property, theft and judgment for each misdemeanor. We also see God's great love expressed for the poor in heart like the widows, orphans and the needy and his call to the Israelites to be a holy people.
God had chosen an unlikely nation to be His own, set up leadership among them, laws to live by and He gave them purpose to live for.
We do however know that over time, the law became impossible to attain and that the Israelites became ritualistic in their faith because they refused to see beyond the law and lived to be found worthy among each other rather than in God's sight.
The law became a stumbling block for them and now living under God's authority was impossible because no human being fully attained the requirements of the law.
The keepers of the law used them to fuel their yearning for power and soon the obvious hand of man was visible in the perfect will of God, thereby causing it to be a hindrance to faith itself!
The only one who has ever attained the law and found favor in the sight of this Holy and righteous God is His own son, Jesus Christ, who came and lived in and among us over 2,000 years ago.
Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophecies and was the long awaited messiah to all people of the earth from that point onwards. His life has been written about by many christians and non-christians who lived during his times and life as we know it was never the same after He came.
In Christ alone can we find the only hope of being reconnected with God because His guiltless blood was shed as the perfect and final sacrifice for all people.
We can today chose to live under the laws of this world or moral laws or no laws at all and head towards certain destruction because in us there shall never be any hope.
We are a people driven by selfishness and therefore anything we do in and of ourselves is motivated by our brokenness. It is only when we are driven by Jesus Christ, who lives even today, that we find hope, meaning and purpose that is worth living for.
Are you bound by the paradigms of this world and unable to find true meaning and purpose. Call on Jesus Christ right now and be transformed by His love and indwelt by His Holy Spirit that is available to us when we submit to His lordship.
Are you one saved by the blood of the lamb but living by rituals and not by faith? I pray today that your eyes are opened to the truth of God and that you move from a life of meaningless rituals to one of compelling faith and that Jesus will be the one that drives and motivates your faith and life.
In His Loving Service,
Hebrews 8:10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
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