We are here in the second half of Exodus, where details of the Law may begin to confound or frustrate you, but we’re all in this together and we remember God is good, beyond our ability to judge.
Here’s the second half of the Bible Project Overview for Exodus.
It’s helpful to take note of repeated words. One I notice is restitution.
Of course, in a perfect world, there’d be no slavery or violence, but the situation of Israel is far from perfect. You’ll notice this theme of restitution, instead. It is the best attempt at returning things to their original state. Without it, vengeance has a tendency to escalate, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime and things only get worse.
Here God lays out the consequences, punishments that fit the crimes, so that order is restored and matters are settled. Sin, pain, murder and accidental death is inevitable. This was God’s answer to these people at this time. It’s not a perfect world. Restitution of the whole world is a much bigger plan (one still in the works).
Though parts of this make me cringe, I do enjoy the equal rights for women, and God’s promise to be the avenger of those without family:
“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” (22:21-24)
As the Overview said, there are some chapters about tabernacle dimentions ahead. Challenge yourself to engage. Also consider the problem Israel is starting to face: themselves.
It’s easy to point fingers, blame Egypt for your problems, but slavery is a condition that followed them into the wilderness. God has begun the Good Work of redemption in our lives, but we still battle the human condition. Is there someone I’m wanting to blame my sin on? Am I ready to confront my own self-righteousness? Am I willing to make restitution and settled matters with forgiveness? Or will I let offense escalate in my heart?
LORD I need you.