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Exodus 22

The first half of this chapter (vv 1-15) deal with property rights and the second half (vv 16-31) are miscellaneous laws. The property right laws relate to the eight, ninth and tenth commandments: You shall not steal. You shall not testify falsely against your neighbor. You shall not covet what belongs to your neighbor. The last chapter dealt with laws as it related to personhood but these laws relate to personal belongings. Life was to be considered so precious that to take a life by malice of forethought meant death for the murderer. Personal property was to be held in very high regard also but did not mean the death penalty. There is, however, a provision (v 2)  for protecting property during the night. However, if property is stolen and the thief is caught he is not to be killed. He is to give back the property and pay double to the owner but if it has been consumed or sold has to pay five fold for an oxen and four fold four a sheep. So, restitution was based on value. Both animal…

Matthew 10

Jesus choose twelve men to be his disciples and he gave them authority that no one since these twelve have had. Jesus is God in human flesh; therefore, he went about Judea proclaiming the kingdom, casting out unclean spirits, healing all kinds of diseases and every kind of sickness. (cf. Mt 9:35) He gave this same authority to his twelve chosen apostles. 
Each of these men are named in groups of two. They were sent to the lost sheep of Israel in pairs. One of these men, Judas Iscariot, would betray Jesus. 
The remainder of this chapter is instructions given by Jesus for the twelve when he sent them out on a special mission to announce the coming of the kingdom of heaven to Jewish cities in Galilee. This mission is not to be confused with the great commission. (cf. Mt 28:19, 20) However, many of the things that Jesus teaches the twelve in this chapter have lasting value in missions today. But we should keep in mind that he later revoked some of the things that he said in this chapter. In…

Exodus 21

This chapter begins what the covenantal theologian calls civil law.  They are laws for the people, living with one another; nonetheless, they are moral because they are related in spirit to the Ten Commandments. As said in chapter 20, the Ten Commandments, when used properly brings the knowledge of sin and make all who hear the law accountable to God. These laws, however, are civil laws for the sons of Israel living in a theocracy. 
When reading these I do not believe that they would be a better way of life; however, we should note that they are much much better than the way other nations were living at the time. C. S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity that we should not judge Christianity when comparing the worst Christian’s behavior with the best unbelievers behavior, for this is not comparing apples to apples. What would that person have been like if they did not know the Lord Jesus Christ and what would this moral unbeliever be like if he did know the Lord? I think that this i…

Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments might be the most misunderstood and abused text in all of Scripture. In the protestant tradition there has been two dominant views: The covenantal view and the dispensational view.
Covenantal theologians partisan the law into moral, ceremonial and civil law. The covenantal theologian puts the ten commandments into the section of moral law. The covenantal theologian believes that there is one overarching covenant that God is acting on; the covenant that he made with Abraham. The gentiles are included as the people of God because God told Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gn 22:18) The covenantal theologian believes that the Christian has the duty to keep the moral law (The Ten Commandments) but does not have the duty to keep the cerimonial law or the civil laws of Israel because these were abolished at the cross. However, Jesus said: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; …

Exodus 19

It took the rising and waining of three moon cycles for the sons of Israel to come to the foot of the mountain in the wilderness of Sinai. The Lord spoke to Moses on the mountain and told him to tell the sons of Israel: You have seen the power of the Lord. If you will obey the voice of the Lord and keep his covenant, then you will be the Lord’s special possession among all the people on the earth. Thus, the sons of Israel were chosen by the Lord to be his special possession; however, it is not without condition, they are obligated to obey the word of the Lord and keep his commandments. Their forefather Adam was free to eat the fruit of any tree in the garden but the Lord commanded him not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; however, Adam listened to the voice of his wife and ate the forbidden fruit. Will the sons of Israel fare any better than Adam?
Moses spoke the word of the Lord to the elders of the people and they were all in agreement to observe all tha…

Exodus 18

Jethro the priest of Midian was Moses’ Father-in-law. Moses had married Jethro’s daughter Zipporah, who bore Moses two sons (Gershom and Eliezer), while he was a sojourner in Midian, before he meet the Lord. Jethro was called the priest of Midian. Midian was an Arabian Tribe descended from Midian, the son of Abraham through Keturah, the wife of Abraham after Sarah’s death. (Gn. 25:1-4) Jethro came with Moses’ wife and sons to the mountain of God where Moses and the sons of Israel were camping. 
Moses received his father-in-law into his tent and told him all of the great things that the Lord did for Israel in Egypt. Jethro rejoiced when he heard the news and said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods.” This is the reaction of a believer. When a believer hears the gospel he rejoices. Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and the elders of Israel sat with him to eat a meal before the Lord. This is true fellowship when men sit down together to enjoy a meal before th…

Exodus 17

The whole congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin to Rephidim. They did this because the Lord commanded the move and he orchestrated the move in stages. Later writings will reveal how the sons of Israel would move from one location to another in stages. There was no water at Rephidim and the people were thirsty. They had no means to lash out at the Lord, so they chose his human representative. Moses believed that the people were ready to stone him; therefore, he called out to the Lord for help. The Lord told Moses to pass before the people (this was so that they would see what was going on) and bring with him some of the elders. Moses was to take in his hand the staff with which he struck the Nile. Moses was to meet the Lord at Horeb. 
“Horeb (“desert”), a range of mountains on the Sinai Peninsula, of which Mount Sinai is the highest (Ex. 17:6); now called the Serbal range.” (BBC) 
The Lord stood before Moses on the rock at Horeb and Moses struck the rock…