Scripture: Exodus 22:20 - 23:9
20 "Whoever sacrifices to any god, save to the LORD only, shall be utterly destroyed.Meditation: The Ten Commandments are presented more fully through other commandments and instructions teaching us how to love God and our neighbor. The book of the Covenant (Exodus 20:22-23:19) deals with laws concerning worship and morality, as well as civil and penal laws. Israel called this law Torah which means teaching or instruction. It was more than a legal code, since it manifested God's will for his people to grow in holiness.
21 "You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
22 You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23 If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
25 "If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 If ever you take your neighbor's garment in pledge, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down; 27 for that is his only covering, it is his mantle for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
28 "You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
29 "You shall not delay to offer from the fulness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. "The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
31 "You shall be men consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs.
(23) 1 "You shall not utter a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man, to be a malicious witness.
2 You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; nor shall you bear witness in a suit, turning aside after a multitude, so as to pervert justice; 3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his suit.
4 "If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the ass of one who hates you lying under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it, you shall help him to lift it up.
6 "You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his suit. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not slay the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.
8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
9 "You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
From the beginning of the giving of the law, the Israelites were urged to meditate on the Torah day and night, so they might obey every word of it (Psalms 19 and 119) It was a source of life and grace for them. Zeal for it was a sign of holiness and some even gave their lives for it (see I Maccabees 2:23-28). Do you treasure God's word in your heart and are you zealous to do his will (Matthew 7:21)?
"Lord Jesus, your word is life for me. Help me to meditate on it day
and night, that I might keep it fully."