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The Mosaic Covenant, Exodus 21:12-23:33

Exodus: Joining God To Set Them Free  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Moses is breaking down the law into case studies for every day life. He is providing examples of how to wisely deal with sin among God's people. God is calling Israel to live in covenant with Himself and with one another. After the explanation of the Law, God reminds Israel of His promise to Abraham to bring them into the promised land. He prepares the way for them and sends a guide to go before and defend Israel from thier enemies.

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There are outlines, notes pages, and pens in the back if you would like to grab them before we get started.
Introduction:
Last week we began digging into the Mosaic Covenant that God is establishing with Israel.
I explained that with these chapters we are going to be taking some broad strokes to look at the intent of what God was doing overall through this process rather than breaking it down verse by verse.
we are going to continue that today by moving from where we left off last week in chapter 21:12 and finishing through chapter 23 today.
Last week we covered two sections.
The laws about alters.
God is defining for Israel the way in which their relationship is going to work.
His desire is to reveal Himself to them.
He freed them from Egypt for that purpose and to fulfill the covenant that He made with Abraham.
We also covered the laws about slaves.
I’m going to break down the purpose in these chapters in a minute, but I felt the need to really dig into this particular section because of the history of our country and the ongoing division that it still causes.
What we learned about this passage is that God’s desire was to free Israel from slavery, but after they were freed from Egypt, Israel chose to continue to enslave their own people.
God didn’t like it, but they refused to give it up.
So God, through the law, made a way out for those still in slavery.
I used the example of when Israel asked God for a king to illustrate what it looks like when we ask God for something that isn’t in our best interest.
God warns us of the ramifications, but does not force Himself upon us.
We must then live in the consequences of our sin.
If you weren’t here last week, I would ask that you please listen to the podcast to get caught up.
ex 21:12-23

There is a difference between a contract and a covenant.

Exodus 21:12–24:15 ESV
12 “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die. 15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. 16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. 17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death. 18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed. 20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money. 22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth. 28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. 33 “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his. 35 “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his. 1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double. 5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard. 6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution. 7 “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. 9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 an oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn. 14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee. 16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins. 18 “You shall not permit a sorceress to live. 19 “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death. 20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction. 21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. 28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. 29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me. 31 “You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs. 1 “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. 4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him. 6 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 9 “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 10 “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. 12 “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed. 13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips. 14 “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. 18 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning. 19 “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. 20 “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. 22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. 25 You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. 26 None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” 1 Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2 Moses alone shall come near to the Lord, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” 3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” 9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. 12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.” 15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.

There is a difference between a contract and a covenant.

In these passages, God is establishing a new covenant with Israel.
I want us to take a moment today to make sure we understand the difference between a covenant and a contract.
Covenants are not a common part of our language or our practice. We have a few instances that we live in covenant, but I think most people are unaware of them.
Most fully understand what a contract is because so many areas of our lives are defined and controlled by contracts.
Want a new cell phone... contract.
House? contract
car? contract
take a flight? contract
get a software update? contract
browse the internet? contract
ect.
Contracts are so common that we often don't give them much consideration or even notice that they are a part of the process.
How many times have you clicked that little box saying you agree to something so you can move through the steps?
How many times have you taken the time to read all that fine print?
Another example is marriage. Most marriages are contractual both legally and in practice.
You may think I'm off my rocker here but think about the people that you know that are divorced and the reasons behind the divorce.
In most cases, one or both people are not satisfied with the fulfillment of the terms in the commitment they entered.
We call those terms the vows. They vow to uphold certain things, and when one or both don't fulfill those vows, it is considered as grounds for termination of the agreement.
By contrast,
A covenant is a pledge between two parties that they will uphold their commitment regardless of the actions of the other party.
It is vital that we understand the difference between these two because...
As believers, we are bound, by our acceptance of salvation, into a covenant with God.
Both covenant and contract have obligations, but with this difference. The conditions set out in a contract require fulfillment of terms; the obligation of a covenant is one of loyalty. A covenant, commonly, is forever; a contract for a specified period. A ticking off of terms in check-list fashion can reveal a broken contract, and the point of brokenness can be clearly identified. A covenant, too, can be broken, but the point at which this transpires is less clear, because here the focus is not on stipulations, one, two, three, but on a quality of intimacy. Of all the differences between covenant and contract, the place in covenant of personal loyalty is the most striking.
Both covenant and contract have obligations, but with this difference. The conditions set out in a contract require fulfillment of terms; the obligation of a covenant is one of loyalty. A covenant, commonly, is forever; a contract for a specified period. A ticking off of terms in check-list fashion can reveal a broken contract, and the point of brokenness can be clearly identified. A covenant, too, can be broken, but the point at which this transpires is less clear, because here the focus is not on stipulations, one, two, three, but on a quality of intimacy. Of all the differences between covenant and contract, the place in covenant of personal loyalty is the most striking.5
Gentry, P. J., & Wellum, S. J. (2015). God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (p. 53). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
The most striking aspect of the covenant that God has made with His people is personal loyalty.
God is creating these covenants to repair the relationship that we lost with Him.
We should not be surprised that He uses a personal approach to that repair.
We have talked many times now that the commandments God gave are how we relate to Him and one another.
The purpose is that we would not only live under a covenant but that we would be an active participant in that covenant, both with God and, just as importantly, with one another.
Have you ever thought about the New Covenant in this way, that we are bound to one another as well as Christ?
God has called us to live in covenant relationships with one another.
Some of our relationships we see that way — best friends, family, etc.
What if we treated all of our relationships as covenants and not contracts?
How would that change the way we manage those relationships?
God is showing Israel the level of love that He has for them by fulfilling the covenant that He had with Abraham and creating a new covenant with them here.
He is living out for us what a covenant is all about.
There was much sin in the life of Abraham’s family after God made the covenant with Abraham, but that didn’t keep God from living up to His word.
Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1–2 ESV
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
He is living out for us what a covenant is all about.
There was much sin in the life of Abraham’s family after God made the covenant with Abraham, but that didn’t keep God from living up to His word.
God is showing that He is faithful to fulfill His portion of the covenant even if we don't.
God is setting Israel apart.
He is teaching them and showing them by example, what it means to live in covenant.
God wants to set us apart.
He wants us to see that we are living in covenant with Him and each other.
One of the ways we join God is by living in covenant with those people that He has called us too.
I’m not talking about living in covenant with every person you meet.
Or sitting down with every person you know and explaining the differences and commiting to them… yada yada yada
That’s weird.
But, I am saying that those that God has called us to BLESS, we need to be treating that relationship as a covenant, not a contract.
I had a friend that was a year older than me when I was in youth group. We often did things that we shouldn’t have. I tell people all the time that we were the kind of kids that YP’s fear. We were constantly into things, pranking people, disappearing, etc. After he graduated we didn’t see each other for many years. One day we ran into each other and swapped numbers so we could catch up. After a few conversations with him it was obvious that he hadn’t grown up much, if at all, since we were in high-school. However, we bumped into each other several more times and he would try to schedule times to hang out. Looking back now, it is pretty obvious that God was doing that on purpose, but I didn’t realize it.
He kept calling and I started dodging his calls and text, but one day I answered on accident and he lit into me.
I quickly shut him down and informed him that I did not allow anyone to talk to me that way and I didn’t want people like that in my life.
Needless to say, we haven’t spoken since.
I allowed my desires, preferences, and attitude to dictate my response to him.
When he crossed the lines of what I deemed acceptable I dropped him like a bag of hammers.
I was wrong. I was wrong in both dodging him and him telling me I was wrong for it.
I made the terms of that relationship contractual and he wasn’t checking all the boxes so I cut him loose.
God places people in our lives that need someone to love them no matter what.
They may not know God or understand what a covenant is, but our relationship with them gives them a taste for what God is offering.
The way we relate to others reveals to them how God is going to relate to them.
I can tell you for sure that I didn’t reveal God to my friend.
All I showed him was yet another version of dead religion.
I can promise you that my actions didn’t draw him closer to God or correct his behavior, which was what I told myself I was trying to do.
Instead of seeing God, he saw a hypocritical jerk.
These next few chapters are giving Israel some real-world application of what it looks like to live in covenant with others and not be jerks.
Chapters 21-23 are not recorded as laws to be obeyed but as principles for how to live under those commandments.
We aren’t going to read them today because it would take 33 minutes, I checked, but also because most of the examples used aren’t recognizable to us.
Bethany and I were talking about this last night and she recommended adding you might be a redneck if… to each one.
If you get in a fight with someone and in the course of that fight you hit a pregnant woman causing her to give birth… you might be a redneck.
you can find that one in 21:22
These chapters were intended to be understood as case laws or precedents.
They were example of how they might judge and settle issues that would arise between the people.
There are several historical examples of the ancients compiling a list of these kinds.
Moses, being trained as a prince, would have been educated in their model and practice.
Again, we see him writing in this way because it was the culture in which he lived.
He communicated using examples and language that would have been common to Israel.
But what can we learn from these examples?

Living in a covenant requires that we live in a forward-thinking way.

All of these examples are protecting people.
They are calling Israel to walk with integrity, with mercy, and with God.
Micah 6:8 ESV
8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
I love the way the message bible phrases it.
Micah 6:8 The Message
8 But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.

8  He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?

mic
If we are living in covenant with one another, our focus needs to be these three things:

Championing for Justice

When we see injustice, we need to say something.
God has made it plain in these verses that justice is to be a priority in the lives of His people.
Not just justice for their people, Israel, but for the stranger and sojourner as well.
The church should be on the front lines of injustice, not taking a back seat.
I will say this, you won’t see me on twitter or Facebook speaking out about things in other areas.
You know why
In order to do that we need to be in constant communication with the Holy Spirit.
When someone is being abused, harmed, or taken advantage of, we are called to action.
We need to ask God what that action is to be.
Some things require immediate action - two teens fighting in the gym.
Some things require some time with God to respond appropriately - accusation of theft is going to require some investigation.
The “church” response in the past has been to hide things that may harm the reputation of people or the church, but that is not how we see God dealing with issues in the life of Israel.
I’m pretty sure that when Jesus started flipping tables and driving people out of the temple with a whip that it didn’t look good for leadership.
If we are living with integrity, we need not be concerned with our reputation.
What happens when we place our integrity over justice?

Showing Mercy to all

Mercy isn’t a word we use much.
Mercy is having compassion for or forgiving someone that you have the power to punish.
This is very counter cultural.
Not many live this way. We are way more interested in getting revenge than giving mercy.
The ramifications of choosing mercy are huge.
Think about how differently people would view the church if it really operated in both justice and mercy.
If you really take the time to stop and think about showing mercy, you very quickly realize that it is costly.
God showing us mercy cost Him His Son.
Showing others mercy is always going to be costly for the giver of mercy.
However, when we show mercy, it reveals God’s character.
I know that most people today don’t understand how it feels to receive mercy.
If they did, they wouldn’t be so shocked when they discover the grace and mercy that God offers us.

3. Walking with God

This is quite a counter-cultural statement.

Walking with God

As you have probably already surmised for yourself, we cannot live in either justice or mercy in our own power.
It is only by walking with God and allowing Him to change our hearts that we could even begin to life this way.
We can’t even walk with God without God doing the work in that process as well.
We can’t and don’t seek God on our own. The Holy Spirit draws us.
The advantage that we have as believers is that we know this and can pray to its end.
Culture says to make sure you are happy, treat-yo-self, etc.
God is telling Israel that they are to live with Him and for Him.
In doing so they will also be living for one another.
Let's go back to the marriage analogy again.
Here is an example of traditional wedding vows.
Will you, have ____ to be your (wife/husband)? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shall live?"
Have you ever noticed that there are not conditions issued with vows?
Would it be the same if they added some stipulations in the vows?
I will love you, comfort, and keep you, as long as you always bring me sandwiches.
What do we notice? These vows are made without stipulations, but with expectations.
The expectation is that the person making the vow will uphold them without stipulation.
Contrast that with what we just discussed about our culture.
Culture says take care of you; covenants say take care of others.
It's no wonder to me that we have so many divorces in our country.
I think that is part of the reason we have as many divorces as we do.
We grow up thinking that the world revolves around us and then all of a sudden it doesn't.
Living in covenant means we are thinking about the needs of others, not our own.
If we are all living that way, there will be no needs.
Have you joined God this week? In what ways have you placed someone else ahead of yourself?
I think we fail to join because we are still living for ourselves.
God is setting Israel apart. They are to be different in all areas of life.
Exodus 21:12–23:19 ESV
12 “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die. 15 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. 16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. 17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death. 18 “When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed. 20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money. 22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth. 28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. 33 “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his. 35 “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his. 1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double. 5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard. 6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution. 7 “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. 9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 an oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn. 14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee. 16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins. 18 “You shall not permit a sorceress to live. 19 “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death. 20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction. 21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. 28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. 29 “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me. 31 “You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs. 1 “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. 4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him. 6 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 9 “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 10 “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. 12 “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed. 13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips. 14 “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. 18 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning. 19 “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
We cannot join God if we are not forward-thinking about the people God has placed in our lives.
When I say forward-thinking, I’m talking about planning your life around the needs of others.
I’m talking about being intentional about changing plans, as needed, and planning ahead to you don’t have to change those plans.
God is asking us to join Him in setting people free, but we cannot set people free if we can’t see their chains.
We cannot see their chains if we are focused only on ourselves.

God will not only be faithful to fulfill the covenant, but He will go before us to prepare the way.

That focus can take at least two different forms, either in our focus on fulfilling our agendas or in self-doubt.
As part of the covenant that God made with Abraham, He promised not only that he would be the father of many, but that He would provide a place for them to live.
Genesis 15:18–21 ESV
18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
Genesis 26:3 ESV
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.
Genesis 28:13 ESV
13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.
Now, the dates of when God made the promise to Abraham, then Issac, then finally with Jacob, is uncertain.
Based on the resources I have, a reasonable estimate is somewhere around 700 years between when God told Jacob, and when slavery ended in Egypt.
I don't know if Israel even remembered at this point that God had promised them a place to live.
I don’t want to make a point based on speculation, but when they complained about the desert, they weren’t asking when they would get to the promised land.
When they leave Egypt, the text doesn’t say they were told where they were headed. Moses just says to them that God is setting them free.
Here they are at the mountain to worship and God is creating a new covenant with Israel.
After God sets the stage for this new covenant that He is making, He tells Israel that there will be an angel before them to guide and protect them as he leads them to a prepared place.
Exodus 23:20–32 ESV
20 “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. 22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. 25 You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. 26 None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.
Ex 23:

I'm only 36, have been a believer for about 23 years, and I sometimes lose sight of the things that God has told me he would do.
I can only imagine that if they remembered at all, that they thought of it like we think about the return of Christ.
Yeah, it's someday in the future.
We don't really consider it having much impact on our lives.
God is telling them that He remembers.
He has not forgotten the promise that He made to Abraham.
Not only has God set them free, but He is bringing to a place that He has prepared for them.
If you remember from Russ’s class, it is THE prime land in that part of the world.
God is just bringing them to a place, He is giving them the best place.
Obviously the people that are currently living in that area don’t want to just give it away.
God tells Israel that He is sending an angel that will go before them.
He isn’t just leading the way, he is going to remove the people from those lands so that Israel can have them.
God says in this passage that He will drive their enemies out of the land.
Romans 8:31 ESV
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
There is though, a requirement for all of this to take place.
Exodus 23:21–22 ESV
21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. 22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
Ex 23:21-
In order for this to go according to God’s plan, they must obey God’s direction.
God isn’t dependent upon our obedience, but he wants it.
When we disobey we take ourselves down a path that isn’t God’s best for us.
God is going to speak to Israel, through an angel, to reveal the plans He has for them.
All they have to do is listen to what He says and obey it.
The same is true today as well.
God has plans for you and I all He is asking is that we obey.
We have it even easier than Israel did because we have the holy spirit.
God is going to do the work of getting it done.
We just have to step out in faith that God will do what he says.
We talk about obedience over and over here.
The reason is that it is the only part of the process we have any control over.
God speaks, we hear it, WE OBEY, God works.
it’s not that hard!
Do you struggle with hearing God’s voice?
Deuteronomy 30:11 ESV
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
Duet 30:11
The Christian life is not difficult. The same Christ who lived a perfect, obedient, and sinless life stands prepared to live it again through you (). God’s will is not hard to discern. He has given us the Scriptures, which reveal His will, and He has placed His Holy Spirit within us to guide us to His perfect will in every situation (). Our greatest challenge will be to wholly commit our lives to follow God’s will obediently as He reveals it.
Moses gathered the Israelites around Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim before they were to enter the Promised Land. There, God described what they had to do in order to obey Him. God gave detailed instructions so there was no mistaking what was expected of them. Then God asked them to make a choice. If they chose to disobey His commands, they would face His wrath. If they chose to obey, they would receive His blessing.
God’s Word comes to you in the same way. It is not too complex to understand. You don’t have to struggle to discern God’s will about adultery or forgiveness or honesty. God’s word is perfectly clear. The question is, how will you respond? Nowhere in Scripture did God excuse disobedience because His instructions were too vague or complex. Condemnation came because they knew exactly what God wanted them to do, yet they chose not to do it! God, through His Holy Spirit, will always give you sufficient revelation and strength to take the next step with Him. If you are uncertain about what God is asking of you, make sure that you are obeying all that you do know, and through your obedience, God’s next instruction will become clear. - Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, It’s Not Difficult!
God has a plan for each of our lives.
All that is required for that plan to work is for us to listen and then do what God says.
When we don’t listen, God can still accomplish what He needs, we are just making it miserable for ourselves.
We see this pattern over and over again in the life of Israel.
I know that if you and I look back over our lives we can see times where we knew God was telling us to do something, we didn’t do it, and then we had to live in the consequences of that decision.
This call that God has for us, To Join Him is setting people free, is His plan.
He is preparing things in advance of us, He is going to be faithful to fulfill His plans, but in order for them to work according to His plan, we have to do what He is telling us to do.
It is not difficult to discern what God is telling you to do.
Does it take some practice? yes
Does it take focus? yes
Does it take living intentionally? yes
God has established a covenant relationship with us because He loves us.
He wants us to live in that covenant and share it with others.
That is our call, that is how we join God to set people free.
God is going before us and preparing everything in advance, we just need to listen and obey.
Announcements:
Bonnie Branim’s retirement party October 20 @ Wardville @ 5pm
Update on sale of building - Aaron
Bonnie Branim’s retirement party October 20 @ Wardville @ 5pm
Women’s Retreat
New Member Training October 13th - November 17th right after church
Trunk or Treat, Wednesday, October 30th
Offering - Silver plate or faith life app
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