Today’s Reading: Exodus 21:22-23:13 (additional reading Psalm 29:1-11 and Psalm 29:1-11)
Key Verse: “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Exodus 21:24
Exodus 21 is where Israel is given instructions regarding slaves, violence, and restitution. You won’t believe some of the things that are covered here, from buying slaves to an ox falling accidentally in a ditch. Rules and regulations. This is where we come across those famous words, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
The Ten Commandments is a sense covered the overview, but we never hear about the laws that covered very specific situations. Exodus 21 is a chapter we often pass over all too quickly, because the details bore us easily and because some of these rules seem cruel, not relevant to 2018 and unfair – like slavery for example.
But what these chapters say to me is that there is no part of my life that God is not interested in. I mean these laws even cover things like,
- ‘what to do if a donkey falls into a pit’.
- ‘Borrowing a Jacket’
- ‘Lending Money’
- ‘When to rest’
- ‘what to do if animals attack a neighbours animal while you’re looking after it. (for us this would be like someone stealing your friend’s car when you borrowed it.’
You see while we may get bogged down in the details, these verses prove that there is not one area of your life that God is not interested in. He really does want to guide you through every situation.
These verses remind me that God really wants to guide my thinking and actions in terms of my relationships with others and with Him. These laws show that we are valuable to God, that He cares for us and wants to protect us. These verses show us God’s way to live in peace and security with others and exercise justice and integrity with our actions.
- How does it make you feel to know that God cares about every part of your life?
- Where do you turn for guidance in making life’s decisions?
- How can you apply some of the guidance in these verses to 2018?
Father, Thank You that You care so much for us. Thank You for helping us know how to live life well. Help us to follow your plans for us and to live in harmony with others. Help us to honour You in all that we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.