Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26 - Exodus 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter begins with a section about justice and mercy.  God is instructing his people on how to create a society where everyone is treated fairly.  He includes laws against being prejudiced both for and against poor people.
  • The next section deals with laws about a sabbath rest.  God set a pattern modeled after the creation story about how our work should look.  He indicates that even the land needs a rest from toil.
  • God establishes three festivals to mark a time of celebration and remembrance. 
  • God indicates his plans for his people.  He will lead them (he uses the imagery of an angel) into the land he promised to them, what is now the western end of the Middle East.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God continues to emphasize his desire for his people to be honest, fair, judicious and merciful.  God instructs his people not to allow their personal feelings to get in the way of doing what is right.
  • God indicates that everyone needs a rest from time to time. 
  • God had a plan for his people and wanted to maintain the covenant that he will be their God by making sure they stayed faithful to him. 
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How often do we allow our personal feelings to get in the way of doing what is right?  When is the last time you chose not to do the right thing simply because you did not want to associate with the other person involved.  As Christians, Jesus asks us to pray for our enemies (and not for impending doom!) and ask God to bless them.
  • We often go and go and go until we drop.  I believe this is especially true in Vegas.  There is always one more work function, ball game, event, project, party, or commitment that we can use to fill up our schedules until we are running ragged.  God wants us to commit to a time of detox.  A time where we can allow ourselves to be emptied of ourselves and filled with him.
  • God still has a plan for us.  It may not be as obvious to us as the territories laid out to his people, but that does not diminish his plan.  First and foremost, his desire is that you would get to know him better.  For more on this, make sure you visit Verve tomorrow or Monday as we continue our series "The River" and discuss God's will for our lives.