Exodus 21

Today's Passage: Exodus 21

God’s people have escaped the tyrannical oppression of the Egyptians, fled into the desert wilderness, and have become their own nation. Chapter 21 focuses on God’s instructions concerning matters between man and man. More than just their physical freedom, God wants to free their hearts. He walks through several relational and civil matters that reveal his heart for his people.

The first section of laws deals with slaves/servants. The Israelites were JUST freed from oppressive slave masters. They went from being slaves to being their own nation that could hire servants. God does not want them to become masters in the same way that the Egyptians were. He wants them to be respectful, merciful, and generous masters who honor and dignify those that work for them.

God wants his people to be set apart from other nations in how they treat others. He wants the same from us today. Jesus commands us to love others and consider them more important than ourselves - and he means everyone. In fact, he says that our love towards others should be an identifying marker that we follow Christ. Can people see Jesus in the way you treat others?

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

The second section of Exodus 21 deals with the sanctity/value of life. God is abundantly clear that human life has intrinsic value (the unborn as well as the born). The unjust taking of a life is a serious offense that demands justice. Why is this section here? To teach the Israelites and us that all life is precious, especially human life since it was created in the image of God. This should influence the way we interact with other image-bearers. Christians, of all people, should live a life that shows honor and respect for others.

Family Discussion:

Does your life look different from those who aren’t Christians? How so?
If you were to rate your love for others on a scale from 1-10, what would it be?
What is one way to showcase the love of Christ to those around you?

Written By: Joe Weaver


Naomi Austin - January 27th, 2023 at 3:47pm

This passage made me think of OT law & justice versus NT love & grace. In the Old Testament, hitting someone

Naomi Austin - January 27th, 2023 at 3:50pm

In the Old Testament, hitting someone gets the death penalty. But in the New Testament, we turn the other cheek to those who hit us. We love them, like Jesus, and will return evil with good. The call is to have compassion and grace and mercy to all. To keep serving amidst personal pain, for the sake of the Call.

Naomi Austin - January 27th, 2023 at 4:08pm

It’s a good reminder for preaching to ourselves when needed, in keeping with the thoughts about loving like Christ & life’s sanctity. Sorry, typing with kiddos in tow has its challenges. 😉

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