Today’s Reading: Exodus 22:16 – 24:18
Unfortunately, one of the first words that a young toddler will need to understand quickly is the word “No”. It is unfortunate because it most likely means the toddler did something that they shouldn’t have. Maybe they struck their little brother or sister. Maybe they took a toy away from a playmate. Maybe the disobeyed their mother and went to the cookie jar when they were not supposed to. Either way, they hear the word no.
We often need to hear the word no. There are many things in the world that we would love to do. Our natural desire is to things that should be preceded with a no. No, we should not take advantage of our neighbors. No, we should not mistreat foreigners in our land. NO, we should not seek out other Gods. No we should not take abuse laborers. NO, we should not exploit widows or orphans. Unfortunately, all those things do happen. They must have also been happening 3500 years ago, because in today’s reading we hear God giving the list of things that should not be done by the Israelites. Remember, they are God’s chosen people and they were called to be different than the world around them and they were to be holy.
In summarizing these chapters, Matthew Henry in his commentary had this to say:
The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbor, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.
In summary, the people of God should:
- be ready to show mildness and mercy
- be ready to answer to God
- be ready to make restitution
- remember that the grace of God has taught and enabled us to live a in a way different than the world – a way that denies us the ways of the world.
- live soberly, righteously and godly.
- remember that the Lord is enough for us – satisfying our souls.
Titus 2:11 – 14 NLT
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.