We end off this week by reading Exodus 22:16-31
v16: This is not a situation that G-d wants or even allows – but it does happen. When something is done outside of the will of G-d how do we bring restoration?
· This woman is not betrothed – no agreement has been drawn up to marry her and nor has payment been made (dowry). This man has to pay the dowry and she becomes his wife.
v17: This woman can never be registered on the marriage document as a virgin so, if the father refuses for her to marry this man, the man has to, never-the-less, pay the bride price for her.
What we can learn from this is that virginity has significance, it has value. When it is compromised there is a cost involved.
v18: Sorceress – a witch.
v19: G-d sees this as an abomination.
v20: Speaking of idolatry. Idolatry brings death. Often there is a relationship between sorcery, sexual perversion and idolatry (spiritual adultery)
v21: A stranger in Israel today would be seen as someone who is not Jewish but who lives in Israel (Matt 7:12).
· Oppress – exploit. Place him in an adverse situation.
v22: Widows and orphans usually lack physical resources. They lack someone to stand up for them. They’re easily oppressed and can be taken advantage of. The Bible warns us to not do this.
v23: G-d is listening and will respond to them.
v24: When we do not execute justice in a society it brings judgment upon us from the enemy.
v25: This is talking about loaning money to a person in need – someone in a degree of financial desperation (not someone who wants to expand his business/buy a new car etc)
v26-27: Someone gives collateral. Be thoughtful toward those who are in great need. They need that garment/blanket at night in order to warm themselves. Don’t delight in their discomfort. Extend grace – see things from their perspective.
· I am gracious – G-d’s going to get involved in that situation.
v28: Don’t curse those who are judging and ruling (heavenly authority has been placed on them).
v29: Give quickly to G-d what belongs to G-d – tithe etc. The firstborn son also belonged to G-d – but later we are going to see that it was possible to redeem him.
v30: Biblically the number 8 is a redemptive number. It speaks of a change.
v31: This is another summarizing statement, but it also has a call attached to it – a call to live lives of holiness. Holiness is always connected to the purposes of G-d.
· Any animal that could be offered up to G-d did not eat flesh or did not consume blood, otherwise it couldn’t be a sacrificial animal. That is why this verse says to give this meat to the dogs.