Tag Archives: oppression

Exodus 27 – The Court

The plans are in place!  The blueprints are being written up.  The details are set.  Life as we know it is changing.  There are three constants in the world: Death, Taxes, and Change.  The people of Israel are used to living surrounded by other gods.  Gods of the Egyptians, gods of the Canaanites, and the gods of everyone in between.  All of these other gods have temples and alters and rules of worship, but the Israelites seem to not have anything that they can use to identify with their God.  The God of the Israelites doesn’t want statues to be made of Him.  He hides His name from them.  They have no established alter or temple to bring sacrifices to.  How do you connect with a God like that?

Well, that’s all changing.  God has just given Moses the plans for the tabernacle, and is now giving him the plans and blueprints for the alter and courtyard as well.  The people of Israel are well on their way to having a place and way to worship that is all their own.  No more having to watch all of these other nations and people worship their gods in all their ways, and not to be able to show their devotion to the God of their fathers.  Finally, there is a more complete identity in what it means to be an Israelite and to serve their own God.  The people of Israel are starting to become a more cohesive unit with all that YHWH has done for them, and now a way for the circle to be completed… a place to honor and serve Him in return.  They are finally able to fulfill their lives and purpose.

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that we have been place on this planet and in this world for a purpose outside of ourselves.  Our culture attempts to push us to accept that we are here to serve ourselves, and that other people are here for me.  But the reality is that we are here to serve Him.  When we are not serving Him, or worshiping Him in what we do and say, we will always have a sense of loss… of being incomplete.  It’s only in honoring and worshiping God in our lives, actions, and words that we are able to be complete in who we are.  These ancient civilizations had so much of a better grasp of these concepts than we do.  We are continually trying to rebel from what some would call “oppression”, but what is in reality a core part of who we are…  To serve a greater God.  And now, with the plans in place, the Israelites are finally going to get what they need.  A place and way to serve the one true God, the alter and court of the tabernacle.

 

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Exodus, Old Testament, Person, Purpose, Torah

Exodus 23 – Justice & Honor

This chapter seems to have quite a few miscellaneous justice and balance regulations.  I was going to say that they are oppression and mistreatment laws, but then i realized that they are not rules to tell people not to do something so much as they are regulations to help you live in justice and balance.  Here are some examples.  Do not pervert justice.  Don’t take bribes.  Take care of your enemy’s beasts even if your enemy isn’t willing to take care of them himself.  Work six days and make sure you rest on the seventh.  Plant for 6 years but let your fields go fallow for the seventh.

Then YHWH goes into our responsibility to honor and celebrate Him.  Three times per year the people are to get together and celebrate feasts to God.  Offer sacrifices with unleavened bread, not leavened, and bring your first fruits into the house of the LORD.   It’s all about recognizing and honoring Him above all.

Finally, YHWH talks about what He will do.  He will send an angel to guide and direct them.  He will bring terror of them on their enemies.  He will bless the land and the people.  He will drive their enemies out ahead of them… not all at once, so that the land is not overrun by wild beasts.  But the people MUST make sure that they do not pursue the false gods of the people of the land.

Overall, i don’t see an overarching theme that describes / covers the entire chapter, but these concepts need to be understood and applied to fully honor God.

Rev. John

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Filed under Bible, Content, Exodus, Old Testament, Person, Purpose, Torah