Exodus 22, John 1, Job 40, 2 Corinthians 10

DateVersionReading Plan
@March 11, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Exodus 22

Exodus 22:7–8 (ESV) 7 “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property.

A number of laws regarding livestock, theft, dealings between neighbors and social justice are presented in this chapter. In the case where a man gives his neighbor goods for safekeeping but the items are stolen, there were different rules for if/when the thief is found. If there was no clear identification of the perpetrator, the owner of the house placed in charge of the goods was to come near to God to show whether he was the one guilty of theft. Commentaries are mixed over whether God (elohim) refers to God Himself or judges appointed to arbitrate such matters, but either would have represented a superior level of authority and accountability.

John 1

John 1:4–5 (ESV) 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Jesus is the source of all life as well as being the light of men, providing transcendent purpose, guidance and direction. To have one without the other is to have a rootless and frivolous existence. As the Believer’s Bible Commentary says, “It is one thing to exist, but quite another to know how to live, to know the true purpose of life, and to know the way to heaven. The same One who gave us life is the One who provides us with light for the pathway we travel.”

Job 40

Job 40:7–9 (ESV) 7 “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.

God issues a challenge to Job before proceeding into a new line of questioning. As with His previous address, God does not ask these questions because He actually needs a better level of understanding but as a means of demonstrating to Job his finite perspective.

2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 10:17–18 (ESV) 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Boasting and commendation are seen here to be intimately related. Boasting in yourself is way of commending yourself as possessing qualities that were not given to you but innate within you. This does not score high marks with God because it entirely disregards Him as the Provider of every ability. Ultimately, it will be those who are commended by the Lord, not by themselves, who will receive approval.

Carson on Exodus 22

If a thief cannot pay back what he has stolen, the law demanded that he be sold into slavery to pay for his theft (Exod. 22:3). Slavery in this culture had economic roots. There were no modern bankruptcy laws, so a person might sell himself into slavery to deal with outstanding debts. But in Israel, slavery was not normally to be open-ended: it was supposed to come to an end in seven-year cycles (Exod. 21:2–4).

This was interesting as well as a good reminder of the Biblical context concerning slavery. Even knowing that our culture differs greatly from that of ancient Israel, we can still fall into the trap of assuming that our modern judicial elements were also in place in their day.