We have more laws in this chapter – laws about restitution for damaged property and people, laws about idolatry, laws about how to treat those who are struggling, and laws about how to treat those who rule over us.
Again, God’s desire for his people becomes clear. They are to treat one another fairly. They are to take personal responsibility for their actions. They are to worship God alone. They are to care for those who are in need, and they are to respect their leaders.
My eyes landed on a couple of sentences that I think are important for us as a church. First, I noticed this: “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him.” And then I noticed this: “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”
How do you think about your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you view them any differently than other people you encounter in your life – your co-workers, your biological family, your friends?
One of the temptations in the church is to view one another as just ordinary people to whom we have only a slight connection. We come together to worship on Sundays. That’s it. No bond other than coincidence.
But God’s calling for his people was that they would take care of one another – even to their own loss. They are not to treat one another as they would treat an outsider. They do not seek to profit off of one another, especially if a person was in need. And they would respect their leaders.
As Moses was writing down the Law of God, he was writing to a literal family – the direct offspring of Abraham. The church is no less so. The apostle Paul called us the “household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). And God’s great desire for his church was that we would love one another.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (John 13:34). This can be a costly thing, to love our fellow disciples.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls” (Hebrews 13:17). This is perhaps the most difficult of all. What if my leaders do something I don’t personally agree with?
As we take these old laws in Exodus and discover their underlying principles, we may discover we aren’t living up to them as it relates to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to our leaders in the church.
Remember, Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law. He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). He submitted to his heavenly Father. And he sacrificed everything for his brothers and sisters.
These are good things to think about today.