HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

Opening Question:

When was the last time something happened to you that felt unfair? What did you do about it?

Through his law, God called his people to tender compassion and justice. Let’s read about that in our passage from Sunday:

20:22 And the LORD said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.

21:7 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

Reflect Together:

Does the text say God approves of slavery? What do the laws about slavery here do for slaves? What does that say about God’s attitude towards slaves? What implications might that have for how God feels about vulnerable people in general?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

The injunction against idol-making and instructions about the altar show that God’s people were not to worship him like the other nations worshipped their gods. How are you growing in how you worship God?

Since God demonstrated tenderness towards slaves, we too ought to demonstrate tenderness towards vulnerable people and people under our care or supervision. Who is under your care or influence that you could demonstrate God’s tenderness towards?

God limits vengeance and calls for appropriate justice. How are you praising God for his tender justice?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

If there are ways you have not been tender towards people in your care or have acted in vengeance instead of justice, be open about that with your group and spend some time confessing together to the Lord in prayer.

Consider how God would have you act differently in these situations, and make a plan for how you can respond differently. Lift each other up in prayer so that the new life of the Spirit will move through you to overcome habits of domineering or vengeance.