Take the Year Off!

Exodus 23v10-13 Insta (1)

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We’ve all been through times when we’re extra-busy and rest is rare. The demands of work are take over our life with little or no time off. But even in normal times, work can dominate our thinking so much that we forget to look after ourselves and others. God is squeezed out in the stress.  God saw that tendency in Israel too and, in Exodus 23:10-13, provided a special remedy for over-work or over-thinking about work. It was this. Take the year off!


Use Christ’s Story to Re-write Your Story

Exodus 23v1-9 Insta

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded on September 5, 1980, in California by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. Its mission is to stop drunk driving, support those affected by drunk driving, prevent underage drinking, and strive for stricter impaired driving policy. MADD claims that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding. It’s an encouraging example of how God uses painful stories in our past to write better stories for others. There’s another reassuring example of that in Exodus 23:1-9.


God’s Two Beauty Spots

Exodus 21v16-31 Insta (1)

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What would God say and do if he was Mayor of Portland? The actual Mayor of Portland refuses to punish rioters who are destroying his city. The rioters are not arrested or if they are, they are released within hours to re-join the riots again. Evil is not being punished which means the weak are abused, lawlessness and anarchy abound, and wickedness grows rampant and triumphant.

What would God say and do if he was mayor of Portland? Exodus 22:16-31 gives us the answer. God protects the innocent by punishing the wicked. Let’s see how God does this by learning who God is.


A Debt-Free Scream

Exodus 22v1-15 Insta

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All of us know what it is to be in debt. Debt causes bondage, fear, and even misery. Having the shadow of debt hanging over us is a dark and dismal way to live, isn’t it? We sometimes daydream about someone coming along and paying it all off for us. That would be the loudest debt-free scream ever, wouldn’t it!

God’s instructions about debt in Exodus 22:1-15 set the stage for the greatest debt-free scream ever. If you want to scream that scream, stay with me for a few minutes.


An Eye for an Eye

Exodus 21v12-36 Insta

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Human justice tends to over-punish or under-punish. That’s true not only in our courts, but also in our families, our workplaces, and even in our personal relationships. Sometimes we over-punish; other times we under-punish. Sometimes we’re too harsh; sometimes we’re too soft. With over-punishing, the offender is punished too much. With under-punishing, the victim suffers all over again and evil is not deterred. Human justice is so faulty.

Like yourself, I’ve been the victim of painful injustice. I’ve been over-punished. I’ve been punished for things I did not do. I’ve seen evil go unpunished and the innocent punished when they should have been protected. But I’ve not been a perfect punisher either. I’m sure there are times when I’ve over- and under-punished.

It is possible to administer justice in a way that avoids both extremes. Let’s turn to Exodus 21:12-36 where God gives us two principles of justice to help us avoid under- or over-punishing