February 5, 2021

Exodus 21:22-23:13

As we read through the details of legislation for the land, it’s important to keep in mind that these are laws for the nation of Israel – in that day – as a theocracy. Although there is much wisdom in these principles, and many of our laws here in the United States of America are rooted in this Judeo-Christian framework, we are not to see them as binding to all other nations today.

This is Israel’s Civil Law.

Statutes concerning physical injury (Exodus 21:18-27)

Statutes concerning culpable neglect (Exodus 21:18-36)

Statutes concerning theft (Exodus 22:1-4)

Statutes concerning property damage (Exodus 22:5-6)

Statutes concerning safe deposits (Exodus 22:7-13)

Statutes concerning borrowing (Exodus 22:14-15)

Statutes concerning sexual seduction (Exodus 22:16-17)

Statutes concerning idolatrous customs (Exodus 22:18-20)

Statutes concerning the care of the needy (Exodus 22:21-27)

Statutes concerning reverence (Exodus 22:28-31)

Statutes concerning legal justice (Exodus 23:1-9)

Statutes concerning the Sabbaths (Exodus 23:10-13)

Exodus 21:22-23:13

As we read through the details of legislation for the land, it’s important to keep in mind that these are laws for the nation of Israel – in that day – as a theocracy. Although there is much wisdom in these principles, and many of our laws here in the United States of America are based upon Judeo-Christian framework, we are not to see them as binding to all other nations today.

This is Israel’s Civil Law.

Statutes concerning physical injury (Exodus 21:18-27)

Statutes concerning culpable neglect (Exodus 21:18-36)

Statutes concerning theft (Exodus 22:1-4)

Statutes concerning property damage (Exodus 22:5-6)

Statutes concerning safe deposits (Exodus 22:7-13)

Statutes concerning borrowing (Exodus 22:14-15)

Statutes concerning sexual seduction (Exodus 22:16-17)

Statutes concerning idolatrous customs (Exodus 22:18-20)

Statutes concerning the care of the needy (Exodus 22:21-27)

Statutes concerning reverence (Exodus 22:28-31)

Statutes concerning legal justice (Exodus 23:1-9)

Statutes concerning then Sabbaths (Exodus 23:10-13)

In Exodus 21:22-23 we implicitly have the acknowledgment, identity, and value of the child within the womb, whom the Lord sees as a life. If a fight takes place and a man causes the death of an unborn child, that man, under the letter of the law, should be put to death – “…but if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life…” May we also acknowledge every child’s right to life, at the moment of conception, may we hold tightly to the sanctity of life.

In these laws, we are beginning to see that God is just and holy, holy, holy, may that be embedded deep within our hearts in order to cultivate a healthy fear of God. But isn’t it noteworthy to see the way the LORD also reveals Himself as a gracious God? (Exodus 22:27). How important it is that we have this balanced and Biblical understanding of who God is.

Exodus 23:2 has always jumped out at me:

Exodus 23:2 (NKJV) “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil…”

As Christians we don’t just go with the flow of the world. May we know the LORD and His Word well enough to identify when the trends and mores of the majority are actually evil (1 John 5:19).

Exodus 23:4-5 is a practical way of showing love to our enemies. We may not be “feeling” it, but we are called to love them in practical and helpful ways…maybe in time our heart will follow.

I like the way Exodus 23:13 is translated in the NIV:

Exodus 23:13 (NIV) “Be careful to do everything I have said to you…”

Amen! It’s as simple as that!


Matthew 24:1-28

Matthew 24 is often referred to as the Olivet Discourse, for it is here at the Mount of Olives, overlooking the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, that Jesus spoke these words of prophecy. If you cross reference Mark 13 and Luke 21 you get the full picture.

The disciples pointed out the beauty of the Temple and the size of the stones. The temple itself stood 90 feet high – there was gold everywhere. Josephus, a Jewish historian said the temple was so magnificent that it was visible from 30 miles away. Some of the stones weighed 180 tons (modern day cranes can lift only 5 tons)! It seemed indestructible…but Jesus spoke an absolutely amazing prophecy – that the day would come when not one stone would be left upon another (in reference to the Temple).

When they reached the Mount of Olives, Mark tells us that Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Jesus privately this 3-fold question we have in Matthew:

(1) When will the Temple be destroyed?

(2) What will be the signs of Your coming?

(3) What are the signs of the end of the age?

As we read through the prophecies of Matthew, we must make the distinction between 1st century fulfillment (when the disciples were persecuted, and the Temple destroyed) the Rapture of the Church (that’s the one that will catch us by surprise if we’re not watching and working) and the Tribulation Period, which ushers in the end of the age.

False Messiah’s, wars, racial tension, famines, pestilences, earthquakes have all increased in frequency and intensity. Do you sense the birth pangs? ( Romans 8:22)

In the 20th century alone, over 1,100 people of international notoriety have publicly proclaimed to be the Christ, and in that one century there were more casualties of war than all others combined! Today, even with all our technology and ability to communicate globally, well over 10% of the world is malnourished, millions are starving…in other words, the signs are here. And although there have been pestilences in the past, I can’t help but mention Covid-19 which continues to infect the world today, and as I type over 105 million have been infected with 2.3 million deaths.

It’s seemingly not just the signs of the times, it’s the times of the signs. The stage is being set for globalism and a 1-world-ruler (Antichrist).

The Abomination of Desolation (v. 15) is when the Antichrist goes into the temple, claiming to be God and demands worship (see Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). This will take place half-way through the 7-year Tribulation period (this last 3 1/2 years is often referred to as the Great Tribulation). We believe that the Antichrist will come onto the scene peacefully, the world will embrace him, he will bring peace in the Middle East allowing the Jews to rebuild their temple – but then his true colors will show, and he will persecute the Jews (verses 15-22) and the world will see judgment like never before (Revelation chapters 6-19).

There are different views on Matthew 24:28, the Bible Knowledge Commentary offers these words, “Wherever there is a carcass (physical corruption), vultures will go there to eat it. Similarly, where there is spiritual corruption, judgment will follow. The world will have become the domain of Satan’s man, the Antichrist, the lawless one (2 Thessalonians 2:8), and many people will have been corrupted by false prophets (Matt. 24:24). But the Son of Man will come quickly in judgment (v. 27).”

Warren Wiersbe sees it in a more practical way, “The eagles flying around the carcass picture the awful carnage that will result from this great battle (Revelation 19:17–19).”


Psalm 29:1-11

We are to give God the glory He is so worthy of! We are to worship the LORD in the beauty of His holiness (I love that phrase!)

The Psalmist goes on to emphasize the awesome voice of the LORD, not only splitting the cedar trees, but even causing the deer to give birth (reminds me that not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from our Father’s will – Matthew 10:29). Everything is under God’s rule as simply spoken from His lips.

During the flood God sat on the throne – in complete control.

And during the storms of our lives – He sits on the throne in complete control. May this truth bless our hearts with the power and peace we need for the path ahead of us.

Psalm 29:11 (NKJV) “The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”


Proverbs 7:6-23

And the warnings continue – how many men (and women) are ruined by sexual sin!

The simple, the youth, men devoid of understanding. He got too close, she had a crafty heart; her paid peace offerings and vows made it seem like she was a believer…she even called it “love” (Proverbs 7:18). She guaranteed, no one will find out, her husband was away…and this fool was completely swept away…he did not know it would cost his life.

Over the years I’ve seen not only the guilty die, but I’ve seen it cost the lives of innocent victims. A wife who committed suicide, or a son who shot himself right in front of his father because his dad had an affair with his secretary.

To all who are reading this, I pray, we would not succumb to this sin, that we would flee it fast and hard, and die with integrity (Genesis 39:15; 2 Timothy 2:22).

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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