May we thank the Lord for the good gift of His Word and the wise directions for how we are to live.
Pray: Lord, I thank You for the good gift of Your Word and the wise directions for how we are to live.
Read: Exodus 23:1-19
Reflect: What are the main principles you see in these verses?
So powerfully does the energy of Jesus Christ run through these verses that it is as if Exodus 23 and Matthew 5 were written by the same person. Of course, in one sense they were!
In many ways, the ancient Israelites were a primitive bunch. They were not the most advanced tribe of their time and were not the only ones to produce intelligent legal systems. But there is more to these laws than just an ordinary code of practice. Behind the legal provisions we can sense the compassion of the mind who wrote the words. The instructions almost feel as if Moses, divinely inspired, has gathered around him a small group of followers, into whose eyes he is gazing as he reads out God’s words.
Of course, it probably wasn’t like that. However, there is a strong connection between these laws, with their close attention to the small details of the rights of the poor, and Jesus’ teaching. He cared about the things that concerned people, the oxen, donkeys and slaves (12). He expected the very best of his disciples (19) because he had given everything for them.
Apply: How might you best understand and act on Jesus’ concern for the poor and apply v. 19 to your own life?
Closing Prayer: Lord, I want to live out the commands that You've given in Your Word. Show me how best to do it.