Summary: God gives details and consequences for breaking God's rules.
Let us continue to worship God by learning from the Book of Exodus. Exodus is the story of God’s chosen People called out of Egypt to get instructions from God before entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Remember the background?
• God chose a people to reveal Himself starting with Abraham and promised a land filled with milk and honey!
• God kept the promise to Isaac and Jacob.
• But because of their sins, the Israelites became slaves in Egypt for over 400 years!
• Through Moses, God mightily delivered the Israelites out of Egypt as free people on their way to the Promised Land!
And so we can note the type of people they were from their background:
1. The Hebrews knew slavery and likely now have their own slaves, either Egyptians or other ethnicities who believed in God & came along.
2. The Hebrews grew in numbers quickly and so had large families and extended families!
3. Under Moses’ leadership, the Hebrews had judges but it was a theocratic government (God rules!). Let us note that we do not have this in America today.
4. The order of authority and power over possessions were strict and disciplined.
5. The Hebrews experienced and knew God’s power, justice, and loving provisions! And let us also note that God was directly present with the Hebrews.
6. The Hebrews were human beings always prone to sin (go against God).
And so, God led the Israelites out of Egypt and starting with Exodus 19, God spoke to the Israelites in the desert! God gave the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and now continues with specific laws and consequences for the next 11 Chapters; we will focus on just Exodus 21 today…..
As we look at these laws from God to the Hebrews, let us keep in mind Psalm 19:7-8 “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”
Let us note that a precept is a properly appointed mandate! What we are about to read are properly appointed laws for the Hebrews but again there are always godly principles which are applicable to all and as Christians we need to follow the precepts for us in the New Testament.
I have asked Janet Hansen to read Exodus 21 for us this morning….
Don’t you wish you were living back then with the Hebrews; life was so much simpler; you do a wrong thing and you’re put to death; we would solve a lot of our problems today! The only problem with using those rules for the Hebrews of old to today, we would only have 2 people left in the world, President Duterte and President Trump! ??
What can we learn from all these laws from God to the Hebrews of old?
v1-11: God allowed purchasing and selling of servants but:
• menservants be freed after 6 years and if married wife goes with him
• if the masters gives the servant a wife, only the servant is freed
• if the servant wants to stay, community judges are to make a decision
• maidservants have other rules as listed
What is the general Biblical Principle here, do you think??
There must be a godly contract for employment even for a “slave” and slavery is not meant for forever! Let us note that although slavery is illegal in America, it still happens in other parts of the world! Yes there are International Laws for Human Rights but sadly there are many ungodly people and countries who violate these rights. But wait a second, isn’t abortion a violation of human rights?? Sadly, the United States constitution states that only the ones born are citizens, while God’s word states that people re created by God in their mother’s womb!
v12-17: Any who does the following is to be put to death:
• intentional murder
• attacking one’s parents
Biblical principle here? Simply, this is one of the 10 commandments; Do not murder! Life is precious to God (every person is created in God’s image!)
v18-28: there are consequences for physically harming someone!
What did Jesus say the 2 greatest commandments are?? Physically hurting someone is not love!
v29-36: there are consequences for animals causing harm
Biblical principle here? Owners of animals are responsible for their behavior!
And so, based on what God told the Israelites of old (God’s chosen People), what should we Christians note as God has chosen us today?
1. What can we say about God from His rules in Exodus 21??
First of all, does God have a right to make all those rules??
a. God is God! He is always right, perfect, and Holy!