A call for justice. The Sabbath Year. Annual festivals. The angel of the LORD.
VERSE 1. “You shall not spread a false report. Don’t join your hand with the wicked to be a malicious witness.
You shall not spread a false report. In our day, many Christians are deeply involved in spreading false reports.
Here are a few examples that come to mind:
- Politicians who lie about their opponents
- Newscasters who lie for a TV network
- Radio show hosts who spread false conspiracy theories
- People who read news they know to be fake
- Marketers who distort facts
VERSE 2. “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil. You shall not testify in court to side with a multitude to pervert justice.
You shall not follow a crowd to do evil. In our day, many Christians are eager to do evil. And to do it in the name of good.
In our day, there is little risk of this. In our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people. Instead, they see rich people as their heroes.
The worldview is unbiblical. Yet it has become popular among Christians.
VERSE 4. “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.
VERSE 5. If you see the donkey of him who hates you fallen down under his burden, don’t leave him. You shall surely help him with it.
In our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people.
If called to serve on a jury at a court case of a poor person versus a rich person, their bias may lead them to deny justice to the poor person.
VERSE 7. “Keep far from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked.
Keep far from a false charge. In our day, many Christians do the reverse of this. When a true charge arises, they claim it is false. They deny it.
Here are a few examples that come to mind, where many Christians deny true allegations:
- The many sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church
- The sex abuse scandal in the Southern Baptist Convention
- The #MeToo movement
- Black Lives Matter
VERSE 8. “You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous.
VERSE 9. “You shall not oppress an alien, for you know the heart of an alien, since you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
You shall not oppress an alien. Once again, we see that God’s people are required to be favorable to foreigners.
Yet in our day, many Christians in the U.S. want to deport foreigners. And separate their families.
VERSE 10. “For six years you shall sow your land, and shall gather in its increase,
VERSE 11. but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the animal of the field shall eat. In the same way, you shall deal with your vineyard and with your olive grove.
the seventh year. The seventh year is to be a Sabbath Year.
you shall let it rest and lie fallow. People are to shut down their wage-earning operations.
that the poor of your people may eat. The motive for the Sabbath Year is so poor people can eat. But in our day, many Christians withhold their assistance to poor people.
VERSE 12. “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant, and the alien may be refreshed.
you shall rest. The Hebrew word is תִּשְׁבֹּ֑ת (“tiš·bōṯ;”). It is related to the Hebrew word “shabath.” Think: Sabbath. It means cease, desist, rest.
VERSE 13. “Be careful to do all things that I have said to you; and don’t invoke the name of other gods or even let them be heard out of your mouth.
don’t invoke the name of other gods. They are to be strict monotheists.
Here are the three feasts mentioned:
- the feast of unleavened bread (verse 15)
- the feast of harvest (verse 16)
- the feast of ingathering (verse 16)
VERSE 15. You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it you came out of Egypt), and no one shall appear before me empty.
VERSE 17. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.
VERSE 18. “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread. The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning.
VERSE 19. You shall bring the first of the first fruits of your ground into the house of the LORD your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
VERSE 20. “Behold, I send an angel before you, to keep you by the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
Not only do the LORD God’s blessings chase us down from behind. But also, an angel of God paves the way before us!
We are very blessed to be in a relationship with the One God!
VERSE 21. Pay attention to him, and listen to his voice. Don’t provoke him, for he will not pardon your disobedience, for my name is in him.
listen to his voice. They are to pay attention to this angel.
VERSE 22. But if you indeed listen to his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries.
if you indeed listen to his voice. The great promises in this section are conditional. They can happen, but only if the conditions are fulfilled first.
VERSE 23. For my angel shall go before you, and bring you in to the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I will cut them off.
VERSE 24. You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor follow their practices, but you shall utterly overthrow them and demolish their pillars.
VERSE 25. You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.
NAB translation. I will bless your food and drink, and I will remove all sickness from your midst.
I will take sickness away from among you. The LORD God promises to heal them from illness.
In our day, does this great promise from the LORD God still apply?
I will fulfill the number of your days. That is, the LORD God will give them a full lifespan.
Difficult circumstances or illness will not cause them to die prematurely.
VERSE 27. I will send my terror before you, and will confuse all the people to whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.
NIV translation. I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.
VERSE 28. I will send the hornet before you, which will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before you.
NIV translation. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.’
This concept appears again:
Exodus 33:2. I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
VERSE 29. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the animals of the field multiply against you.
NIV translation. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.
VERSE 30. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and inherit the land.
NIV translation. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to possess the land.
VERSE 31. I will set your border from the Sea of Suf even to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.
VERSE 32. You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
VERSE 33. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.