10 Alive Recap

Friends,

Sunday we continued our Moses series with a discussion of Exodus chapter twenty-one.

Is God condoning slavery?

Chapter twenty-one is one of the most difficult in scripture. We rightly abhor slavery and find it difficult to understand how God can institute laws that appear to condone the practice.

It is important to understand this passage in historic context.  As difficult as it may be to accept God’s law is more humane than the laws of other nations. God ordained that slaves were to be well treated and freed after six years of service. In other countries slaves were property and could be treated as such. It is also noteworthy that throughout the old testament God makes allowance for practices that He knows are detrimental to people. For example, God ordained marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. Nonetheless many men in the old testament practiced polygamy. God made allowance for the practice, however, every time the practice was employed it ended in disaster.

God always intended men and woman to be free.  As Paul wrote ‘in Christ there is no slave or free.” The fact that God regulates a practice to make it more humane does not mean He approves of the practice.

Does the law of ‘an eye for an eye’ still apply?

Jenny noted that as a mother she teaches her children to forgive each other.  She added that a home where ‘an eye for an eye’ is employed would be a disaster.

Chris and Tom wondered if the new testament made this law obsolete.  Most of us agreed that it seems to be at odds with Christ teaching.

As stated above, it is important to remember that ‘an eye for an eye’ was a more humane law than what was practiced by other nations. Chapter twenty-one forms the foundation of our western criminal and civil justice systems. In the ‘eye for an eye’ law is the idea of measured justice. At the time it would not be unusual for one who blinded another to be put to death. God is initiating a new system of justice where punishment’s fit the crime and are evenly applied.

Why did the people need so many laws?

Laurie noted that we are by nature sinful and rebellious. Without law society could not function and we could never live the lives God intends.

There are many purposes for the law, however, as we discussed last week one of the most important is to convict us of sin and demonstrate our need for a savior. As we grow in Christ that which we used to do out of fear of punishment (obey the law) we will begin to do out of love for the father.

Next week Exodus chapter twenty-two. Consider the following questions:

1) Why was the Lord so insistent that the Passover be performed in such a precise way?

2) Why was the lamb to be without blemish?

3) What was the importance of the blood?

See you Sunday.

John

 

 

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