God's Heart in God's Law
Passage: Exodus 22:1–31, Exodus 23:1–19
Community Group Questions: Exodus 22:1-23:19 "God's Heart in God's Law"
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- In Galatians 3:19, Paul reminds us that the law exists because transgression (sin) exists. Using this Scripture, and any others that you can think of, how would you describe the role and the necessity of the law to a non-believer who views God as a regulatory dictator?
- Beginning halfway through chapter 21, extending through verse 15 of chapter 23, we find laws related to restitution. The foundation for these various laws is God’s heart for justice. Explore together some Scriptures related to God’s justice (see Isaiah 61:8, Deut. 32:4, etc.). God’s laws of justice ask us to live with others in a spirit of justice. Is there a situation in your life that needs to be made right? It could include physical restitution or relational restitution. What steps can you take today to pursue that?
- In verse 16 of chapter 22, stretching over to verse 9 of chapter 23, we find laws related to compassion, particularly toward the marginalized and oppressed. The Bible is flooded with scriptures that remind us of God’s heart for the oppressed. Take a moment to explore some of these together. Two groups often protected by these laws are orphans and refugees. God’s invitation to us is to step into the game and help protect and provide for these marginalized people groups. What opportunities are you currently pursuing that allow you to engage in caring for the marginalized? What opportunities are before you that you might ask God to strengthen and equip you to pursue?
- Verses 10-19 in chapter 23 show us God’s concern for Israel’s worship. Why do you think God was particularly concerned that Israel’s worship be regulated? (Hint: see Exodus 7:16). The three specific festivals mentioned in this section each point to evidences of God’s grace toward the Israelites. He was concerned that they not forget these moments of grace. What spiritual disciplines are you practicing that help you celebrate and remember God’s grace in your life?
- Throughout the Bible we are reminded that at one point we were spiritual orphans (John 1:12), spiritual refugees (Eph. 2:11-12), and enemies of God (Rom. 5:10). Yet in Christ, we are no longer orphans, but children of God. No longer refugees, but the people of God. No longer enemies, but friends of God. How does this awareness transform how you understand and submit to God’s law?