God’s Promises Worked as They Obeyed God
Exodus 21:1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.
There are 42 commands found in this list. It is an outgrowth of what we call the 10 commandments
These 42 commandments are connected to the Hebrew alphabet and were to help them understand how the original 10 words or commandments were to play out in real life
Living these rules justly was the practical outworking of the righteousness of God
The voluntary servant 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
God had freed the Hebrews and they were never to be life long slaves again
This was often a way to overcome financial tragedy.
You would serve a person who would pay off your debt and get you back on your feet
You came in with nothing but would leave owing nothing
If you had received much from your master you could choose to stay
Jesus was a voluntary servant
He left great riches and made Himself a servant forever
He put on the robe to wash His disciples'
He went to a cross to die for us
We should voluntarily serve Him
Give up what you want for yourself
Lose your life
Voluntarily serve others
Prepare to die for the Lord Jesus, His kingdom, and His purposes
The Hebrew daughter was not to be mistreated even when sold to another 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
The daughter would not be freed in 6 years like the son
If the man who had purchased her wasn't pleased she could be redeemed or bought back
She could never be sold to others outside of Israel
If she was purchased for a son she was to be treated like a daughter
If her husband got another wife all of her needs were to be met
If her needs weren’t met then she could be freed without paying anything
Penal Code style laws
Death Penalty Law in Israel
God is the giver of life. He determines how long a person lives. In these laws, Israel is being taught to value human life
From the beginning, God has said that if you shed a man’s blood then yours will be shed
For hitting a man and killing him 21:12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
For planning a murder 21:14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.
For being a delinquent child. God wanted children to honor and respect their parents 21:15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
For kidnapping. Not only could you not kill but you are not in control of the life of another. People can’t be stolen from their home against their will 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
For not controlling your animal that you know might be vicious 21:29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
For killing a thief in daylight hours 22:3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Everyone around Israel would be involved in the worship of false gods. Israel was commanded to not do so
For witchcraft and demons 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
For bestiality 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.
Sacrificing to a false god 22:20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
God made provision for second-degree murder or an accidental killing
If the killing were not premeditated the killer would be punished but he would not lose his life 21:13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.
The killer was to flee to the cities of refuge
There he would be judged to see if it were intentional or not
If in fighting you caused injury to another you were liable for all his costs 21:18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.
Even the accidental discipline of a servant would be judged. 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
The punishment was to fit the crime 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
If in a fight a woman got hurt and lost her child then the man who hurt her would pay
If she was hurt in any way the person would get the same thing done to them
This isn't the wild west and crazy killings and fightings but justice carried out so that the punishment fit the crime
If the slave owner hurt his slave he had to let him go free 21:26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.
The owner of an animal was responsible for the actions of his animal 21:28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 21:30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him. 32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
An animal that caused the death of a person had to be killed
Even the flesh of the bull that killed was not to be eaten
It was possible to pay a ransom, a sum of money, that was what the value of the person’s life would be valued at
If it was a servant that died then the price was set
If you had a pit on your property and didn't cover it then you would pay for any animal that might get hurt there. You would however get to eat the animal 21:33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; 34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.
If your animal hurt another animal the law was there to be sure justice was done 21:35 And if one man’s ox hurt another’s, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. 36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.
God had laws against theft for His people
Stealing was more costly than work 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
If the thief came at night he could be killed and there would be no judgment against the person defending his home 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
They were not to kill the thief that stole in the daytime. He would simply pay the fine or be sold into slavery 22:3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
If the thief were caught with the stolen goods then he only paid double 22:4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
God’s people were to watch their animals and never take advantage of their neighbor 22:5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
He would have to make restitution
It would be a fair punishment.
He would have to allow the other man to use his best field
If you started a fire you were responsible for what the fire burned 22:6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
If you were holding something for your neighbor you were responsible for it. You would be brought before a judge to find out if you were guilty of anything 22:7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. 8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.
If it was honestly stolen then the thief would be responsible
If the thief couldn't be found then they would go before the judges 22:9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.
If the neighbor’s animal was under your care you were responsible
If there were no witnesses then the neighbor could go free 22:10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
If the animal were stolen then the neighbor would have to pay 22:12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.
If the animal was hurt by wild animals the neighbor wouldn't be responsible 22:13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.
If you borrow something you are responsible to give it back in the same condition 22:14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.
If you were renting it then the owner was responsible 22:15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.
If you had sex before marriage you were to marry her or pay the dad her dowry 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
The Hebrews were taught how to treat others. Or maybe how to be a good neighbor
Never take advantage of foreigners 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Never take advantage of widows or orphans 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Never take advantage of the poor 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
Do not mistreat poor people or favor the rich 23:6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
Never take the side of the poor just because they are poor 23:3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
Treat leaders with respect 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
Don’t damage someone’s character or testimony 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
Don’t do wrong just because others are doing wrong 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
They were to do right even if it was their enemy 23:4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
They were never to take gifts and so alter the judgment they would make 23:8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
The Hebrews were to handle their responsibilities before God well also
They were not to hold back on what God had commanded them to give 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. 31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
They were to obey God in the way they handled their land and crops and so the poor people would have something to eat 23:10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
All were to rest one day of every 7 including their servants 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
They were not to even mention the names of the false gods 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
They were to keep several feasts 23:14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God. 18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.
The feast of unleavened bread or the Passover spoke of the death of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ
The feast of the harvest or first fruits spoke of the resurrection
The feast of the ingathering or tabernacles reminds us that He is coming again
They were to bring their offerings to God and not follow the heathen practices of those that worshipped false gods 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
As they lived out God’s truth He promised them great things
He would keep them and bring them into the promised land 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
They were to obey and honor Him 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
If they would honor God then He would do great things in their lives 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.
They were to honor God 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
As they honored Him He would bless them 23:25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
God would not do all of these promises immediately 23:29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
God’s work in their life would be as they grew and were able to handle what He wanted to do in their lives 23:30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
They were to separate themselves from false gods so that they wouldn't fall into sin 23:33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
As they allowed God’s Word to get into their hearts and influence their thoughts and actions God would bring about His promises in their lives
God gave them good laws that would cause them to grow in His grace and live out the great miracle He had done in them
He has rescued them from Egypt and slavery
He has given them a new life
They have great promises but those promises are conditional
They can enjoy great blessings or miss them if they will not obey God
Grace is never an excuse not to do right
We never use grace as a cover for sinful living or lawless living
God has saved them
He has separated them
But they are now to live out what God has done in them
As they live it out God will bring them into greater and greater blessings
He will give them victory over more and more enemies
He will give them more of what He has for them
How are you handling the grace of God that He has given you?
Do you take it seriously?
Do you seek to grow in His grace and strength?
Do you want to serve Him and love Him more every day?