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It is Really About Love (Mishpatim)

For I the Lord do not change Malachi 3:6

This week we continue our reading of Exodus, chapters 21-24. It is an interesting portion with two and a half of the four chapters filed with laws.

The laws are detailed; how to deal with slaves & property, personal injuries & social responsibility, Shabbat & the Holidays. These kinds of chapters seem rather irrelevant to Christians today and are often skipped over. After all we don’t have slaves, most of us don’t have livestock, and the government has installed laws on how to deal with justice.

Despite that, I encourage you to open your bible and read these chapters, because we can learn a lot about God’s character from these laws that He gave the people of Israel. After all, the Lord is the same, yesterday, today & tomorrow. And what He had to say so many years ago to the Israelites is still very relevant today.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12: 30-31

All the laws given in these chapters can be summarized with the above verse; Love the Lord and love your neighbor as yourself. The basis of all these rules is love. Perfect Love. Love that outcasts fear. The kind of self-sacrificing love that the Father shows us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

It was always about love, and it still is. While we can have endless discussions about Grace vs. Law and the relevance of these ‘Old Testament’ rules for our lives as believers today, it is really about love. The love the Lord has shown us and we in turn give Him, and the love we have for our neighbor because of the love of the Lord in us.

So I encourage you to read these chapters and to ask the Lord to show you what you can gain from them. Let these words remind you that it is about love and they can help you to show more of the Lord’s love to your neighbors.

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