The second half of Exodus records Israel’s meeting with God at Mt. Sinai. They make a covenant with him, receive rules by which to live, and build a tabernacle where God will dwell with them. But things go terribly wrong.
Today, our reading comes from Exodus 19-21 as Moses receives the 10 commandments from God. This reading gives us a look into God’s desire for our lives and how to live as a people set apart by God.
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Psalms 23 “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” It’s a comforting way to start the day. The Lord is my shepherd and he leads me, comforts me, loves me, forgives me, encourages me and even corrects me. What a wonderful God we serve.
A few things stood out today:
1) 1 Peter 2:9 echos Exodus 19:6- calling us a royal priesthood, a holy nation- to me this is just one reflection of how the OT and NT are connected. And how God’s plan has always been the same.
2) Exodus 19:11 & 16- both of these verse reminded me of the crucifixion too. Jesus rose on the 3rd day; God came down on the third day. There was an earthquake when Jesus died; there was thunder & lighting when God came down- both natural events reflect God’s incredible power.
3) Exodus 21: to me, all these guidelines really show that God wants unity and fairness among his people. It sounds like just a list of rules, but really God is helping them understand what responsibilities to one another look like. Again, he wants them to live in healthy community with each other.
I was struck by chapter 19 when God set apart the Israelites as a chosen people and they said “We will do everything the LORD has said.” We all know that they didn’t, and it seems crazy that they were so wayward after such a special offer from God.
I also thought some of the laws and rules God gave them were interesting. The phrase “morality reset” came to mind, which would have been necessary after so long in captivity with the Egyptians.
Chapter 21 kind of threw me for a loop. After reading the above comment on the chapter it made more sense. Still some of the commands sound really harsh.
I agree that they seem like a lot compared to Jesus teaching. I almost read them like this: “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye” (verse 26). This would be a big inconvenience to the owner. What would be the only way to make sure this didn’t happen? Don’t hit them at all!
A lot of this section is about being responsible for your actions, and these commands in their culture would have made more sense.