Margin notes for April 15, 2008 – Things I scribbled in the white spaces

1 – “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21, ESV)

RAF: Do not fear the “thick darkness” of God’s Word. Study it. Draw near to it. Yes, there are strange sounds in it, strange things to see, it deals with things which make the mountains tremble – but you can draw near to Him there. God is there. Don’t ask others to do that for you. You cannot build a relationship by proxy.

2 – “And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’” (Exodus 20:26, ESV)

RAF: God cannot be ascended to – He must bend low to us.

3 – ““When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye.” (Exodus 21:22-26, ESV)

RAF: The object here is that justice must be equitable. You cannot ask for the death penalty, when only a tooth has been lost. You cannot fail to compensate for an eye, if an eye has been lost. The fine and/or penalty must be equal to the actual damage, not more, and not less.

4 – ““When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye.” (Exodus 21:26, ESV)

RAF: Slaves are not to maltreated. Physical violence against them is not to be tolerated.

5 – ““If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.” (Exodus 22:1, ESV)

RAF: Non-violent theft is to be punished by restitution with interest. 20% here – in other cases more.

6 – ““You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” (Exodus 22:28, ESV)

RAF: In our day and culture, cursing those in office with whom we disagree is practically a birthright, and a bastion of both conservative & liberal political dialog. How sad. How wicked.

7 – “You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,” (Exodus 23:2, ESV)

RAF: The “everyone else is doing it” defense has no truck with God. We are not to be a people who make decisions simply by virtue of the trend of the masses. We are each one, personally responsible before God.

8 – “I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.” (Exodus 23:29-30, ESV)

RAF: God does not drive out all of the remnants of indwelling sin in an instant. It is a long term process. We would not know how to possess the whole of our being well, and other things would creep in and destroy. Sin is brought down in campaign after campaign. Do not grow weary. It is not a fluke. This is God’s pattern.

9 – “You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.” (Exodus 23:32, ESV)

RAF: Make no agreement with any indwelling sin. Seek its utter destruction. Never just give in to allow it to rest within your borders. Continue to prosecute your war against each and every one of them.

10 – “I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.” (Exodus 29:44-46, ESV)

RAF: Why has God saved us out of the world? That He might dwell among us.


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