Sep. 17. Moral and Ceremonial Laws

Ex. 22:16-23:33

Sexual purity among His people was expected by God. A man who enticed an unbetrothed unmarried virgin was expected to marry her and pay her dowry. If her father refused to give her in marriage, the dowry was still to be paid.

God did not tolerate idol worship of any kind, including sorcery as those acts were in direct opposition to His preeminence. The poor and strangers were not to be oppressed. Rulers were to be respected and not cursed. He also demanded the firstfruits of their labors, including the firstborn sons. However, provision was made to redeem their sons from sacrifice.

Truth and justice were required in courts of law. A poor man could not be favored or oppressed just because he was poor. Bribes were forbidden. Enemies were even to be helped if they were in need.

Two sabbaths were introduced. The Israelites were to work six days and rest on the seventh. They were also to till the ground six years and let it lie fallow the seventh. Any volunteer grain that grew was to used by the poor and wildlife.

God instituted three annual feast days. The first of those was the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover that commemorated the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Celebrated second was the Feast of Harvest/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost at the end of grain harvest. This feast came fifty days after Passover. The third feast came at the end of olive and grape harvest. It was the Feast of Ingathering/Feast of Tabernacles. It commemorated the forty years of their dwelling in tents in the wilderness.

If God’s people will remain faithful and loyal to Him, He will bless them beyond measure. He promised the Israelites that He would feed, protect and give them good health while driving the inhabitants out of the land that He was giving to them.