Well...here we are...waiting on "the storm!" I don't think it will amount to much out here in western Oklahoma....but we need the moisture even if it comes in the form of ice? At least the ice will melt! :)
Chapter 22 We continue God's conversation with Moses up on the mountain. As Dusty and I were reading this and we got to chapter 24, I said, "wait! Who's talking?! Is this God still giving the law to Moses or is this Moses already telling the people?" I just lost in such a long conversation. But after looking back to chapter 20, I remember it was still God talking. Do we do that? Is God talking to you and trying to get your attention so much that you've tuned Him out? OH!? Is that you God? Are you talking to ME? :) So, here we are...up on Mount Sinai where Moses spends 40 days! 40 days!!! The Lord is giving more laws to Moses. This is the "just in case this happens" handbook.....kinda like what we had in previous chapters with what to do with your out of control bull. This is what to do if a thief breaks into your house; what to do if an animal is stolen from your pasture; what to do if a firebreaks out; what to do if your silver and gold are stolen from your neighbors house if they are "watching" it for you; what do to if a neighbor is keeping your donkey or ox for safekeeping and it dies; what to do if you borrow and animal and it dies....all of these are laws given to provide protection for your property. The rest of the chapter gives laws concerning your social responsibility. I think we need to post all of these on the evening news! My, my.....how far we have strayed from anything biblical....we don't even keep the sabbath holy any more. Even I remember when stores were closed on Sunday's!!! In my head I really am just 29 still!!! :) Where did that decade go?! In case you were wondering...don't seduce a virgin or else you have to pay the bride price for her!! Don't let a sorceress live. Don't (EW!!!!!) have sex with animals...that one caught us off guard! That we even have to tell people that...then and now! Mercy! But it's there....verse 19....and if you do, you'll be put to death! So just don't! ew! Don't take advantage of a widow or orphan; don't charge interest to those you lend money to; don't hold back offerings from your granaries or your bats; and ...finally, be holy. Be God's people and be holy!
Chapter 23 Laws of justice and mercy: don't spread false reports (what? No gossip?! That's right...no gossip..."I heard that so and so just did such and such.."--nope...can't do it! :) If your neighbors donkey wanders off, take him back to him; don't deny just to the poor; don't accept a bribe; and for 6 years plant your crops, but on the 7th year give your crops to the poor and need so they and the wild animals may eat from the vine. They are to keep the 3 annual festivals: 1) the festival of unleavened bread -- to remember when the Lord brought the Israelites out of slavery; 2) Feast of Harvest -- celebrate your first fruits of the crops; 3) Feast of Ingathering-- celebrate when you gather in the crops at the end of the year. Oh...and by the way...don't cook a goat in its mothers milk!
Finally, God will send an angel to prepare the way ahead of you....He tells the Israelites this to assure them that He will be with them along the journey to guide them and to pay attention. They are to follow the angel and not rebel against him. God will keep His hands over them and protect them.
Chapter 24 Moses finally gets to tell all of this to the Israelites. Their response? What do you think? They've grumbled. They've whined. They've doubted. What do you think they say? Well, they responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey." Finally! They are getting it right! God is confirming the covenant...He will do what He promised and the people will obey! May we learn that lesson too....every day...over and over again! To let Him be our God!