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098 - Let's Talk ... Altars?

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
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June 20, 2022 3:44 am

098 - Let's Talk ... Altars?

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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June 20, 2022 3:44 am

Episode 098 - Let's Talk ... Altars? (11 June 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City


You pick up your Bible is more than meets the is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than last week we looked at the 10 or the 10 worst is that enough to write an entire detail details.

In fact, they say the devil is in the details of whether the details of the specific about how those apply practical community life will start working that out today on more than Inc. will welcome this Saturday. Jim and you found us at more than each and and were walking our way through the Bible, specifically through the book of Exodus. What you bring us up until sort of where we are in the life of Israel. At this point.

Okay, well, we've arrived at Sinai. We've arrived at Sinai, and God has spoken the 10 words given the 10 Commandments and if you remember that at the end of chapter 20 I said verse 18, all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes, and the sound of the trumpet of smoking when they sought they trembled and they stood at a distance right so that responses. I speak to is yourself and will listen but don't let God speak to us, lest we die. So they are afraid of the voice of God because of the thunder and the lightning is a God. They can't control is he's making a big show of his meeting with Moses and people of his right Sinai and Moses has gone up and come down from the mountain.

A number of times as he represents the people before God brings God's word back to that so but they have received the initial statement of the 1010 can look to the 10 Commandments and now there's kind of at this point on in the life of Israel, especially right here for the next 2 to 3 chapters were going to expand on that loss. Maybe one way to work, what with the 10 commitments look like if you put in flesh while you make deliberate applications to them and actually the word in the beginning chapter 21 is the mean spot rules the Lord misses the things the verdicts the judgments right. This is what happens when this happens so that surrounded today and for next week and maybe the week after that I think were gonna look at the specific out workings of the 10 Commandments you can tie all these back to essences of the 10 Commandments, or if you want to you can time all the way back to that question asked Jesus.

What's the best writing was the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. So these all are included in that but these are the specific out workings and I think you'll find fascinating innovations in terms of justice.

They definitely were innovations at the time and ancient culture, just based on that that well yes because there are some other law codes in existence from other nations that are very different. God's yes God's justice has some amazing characteristics because God himself is just yes. And so that's kind of exciting to me as we begin to get to work our way through this because people tend to think of this section is all these are all the do not do this don't do that, but really, if you remember the 10 Commandments fall into categories. The first bunch of them talk about loving God, that looks like and then the second half of them talk about then what your love for God. How that impacts your love for people and so that's why Jesus could say the greatest two Commandments. I love God and love people and the whole law and the prophets are summed up in silver and get real specific about that. So let's get specific restarting in at the end of chapter 20 verse 22 and he starts into the topic about altars of all things well okay so that's important because once an altar and altar is a place of worship is a place of sacrifice is a place of communing with the God that the altar represents the holy condition of the one you come to worship and it's also implicitly a place of your admission of your failure. That's right because you come to God but you come flawed and failed, and sentence so you can bring a sacrifice with all that is wrapped up together with right beak about altars is all about worship approaching God having some recourse to room failures with the sacrifices so so he gives us some rules.

First off, the first thing I would think a bit about murder is not it's about altars revisiting of the 10 Commandments rights and begin to apply it because rim of the 10 commands began on the Lord your God, you have no other gods before me. So it makes sense, then, that when he begins to talk again with more detail. He would begin their holistic look at okay laws about altars, so will start reading for chapter 20 verse 2222 and the Lord said to Moses, just say that people of Israel. You have seen for yourselves that I've talked with you from heaven right they saw the thunder and lightning sought so that he reiterates verse 23 you shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves. God's goal and altar of earth. You shall make for me sacrifice on your burnt offerings and your peace offerings your sheep and oxen in every place where I cause my name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you, if you make me an altar of stone. You shall not build it of hewn stones for if you wield your tool on it you profane it and you shall not go up by steps to my altar that your nakedness may not be exposed on us is interesting.

There is no temple at this point drives no tabernacle which is a portable temple, and yet were talking about this place where you meet with God. This altar, and so the rules for this just a couple simple ones actually but the right direction.

Pretty profound because now I talked about the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, which, having been defined yet but again there what you do is recourse to your failure in some pain, but remember that we are we hearing Exodus which is 400 years after Abraham's time and understood.

Yes, right, burnt offering, so there's something anciently present in the hard recognizes the necessity of an offering to the God to whom we owe sacrifice we come to the program. In fact I looked up that word altar in Hebrew actually means death, or to kill so it always has overshadowed to it.

The set price the sacrifice and pay for you your sins yeah and what you when you make a thing in verse 24 in every place where I cause my name to be remembered. That's where the altars are I will come to you and bless you is that this is amazing. That is over, the altar says this is a place of communing me. There will be sacrifice and I will bless you God's intent is not to be angry with us God's intent is to bless us the width that is itself fascinating marriage of those two ideas about this atoning sacrifice and the blessing of God's presence, which when you know when you festered in the New Testament that makes a lot of sense because when we approach God we approach God very cognizant of the fact that Jesus died as well.

If you look back to Genesis rightly see Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob all building altars and naming them to commemorate in particular experience in the presence of God. And so you can look back in Genesis and look at those patriarchs and why they built altars where they build them and on what basis so it was to commemorate and ask variance of the presence of God in place every place where my name is sources and God's name is I am that I am right.

That's where Exodus started sorting make it effective. It can't be hewn stones. It can't be something man-made centrist earth or stacks style side that immediately makes me think you know all the earth belongs to God. But if you said about carving a beautiful carved altar then leans into becoming an image of something when I may write part of that there is nothing like you and don't make it high so you have to go up by steps right because that indicates like the Tower of Babel were going to go up to God right so don't do it. Also you know this, exposing your nakedness. We don't want to see a lot of what you will see where your flesh well there's a lot of possible implications of that because he says you'll profane it will make it, you pollute it, desecrate it on only you don't just come tripping blankly into the presence of God. You come respectfully. By the way God has designated honoring his holiness and also you know, exposing the nakedness has with that that kind of sexual connotation that right that in already. Yeah. And you know in the history of Israel. Later on, God does allow steps at the altars, but at the same time he also says that the precept to change their garb's disorders was for a cover-up exposure for John actually Exodus is to give us some instructions about products. That's a big deal but I want to I find fascinating about this in the final assessment of the altars is you know if he if someone asked you what makes an altar will it's not that this not the handicraft or the coolness of it orbits me out of 50 stones or carpet is has nothing to do with the actual fineness of the structure because her talk about the rewrite that right.

What makes it an altar to God is the place where his name is remembered right.

That's what makes it a place not anything fancy.

Beyond that, so anything in a sense, can be an altar. If that's the place where you come to God and his name is remembered in that spot so that's altars will push on Willow things okay yeah so weird were jumping in the chapter 21. We continue with this outworking of the law. Chapter 21 begins a very interesting way because now it's good to get very specific about the applications of those 10 commandments right so that verse one says now these are the ESV says the rules, new American Standard, says the ordinances I've mentioned this word earlier verdicts that judgments that which must be obeyed.

These are the this is the way it works and if this happens it happens be will be the result.

And so it sounds almost like an instruction to the judges. Well, this is how you judge these things and why is that important because all authority belongs to God.

Justice is an attribute of God that loves justice right and so his people need to understand what God's justice looks like you're right, God's judgment is always right and so I just make some observations here before we get into these that that God's justice in these instructions is limited.

It's measured it's appropriate right what is just and right according to the the overstepping and what strikes me as we get reading this is that in every case, it is protective is protective is protective of the victim limitation yeah's response yeah yes so that you don't just say well he did that to me so I can take more from him right you will see that demonstrated the specifics on some of these and interestingly enough he starts this section talking about laws pertaining to Slate lay slave yeah okay so does that rankle you because we know the first question that might arise in your mind is why does not God command against slavery wasn't that the 11th commandment that I shall not yeah it's not there you will. Slavery was just it's it's a part of the world. The worldwide experience is there, but you also have to understand also often understand that culturally slavery in Israel, nothing of the rest the world but in Israel as God will defined here is is not what we classically think of when we think of African slavery that led to the slave trade to American stuff like that. In fact, he'll hit on that a little bit here. This is a different kind of thing and I might be stretching this year you can correct me on this, but in my understanding of slavery in Israel.

It was always consensual paying back your debt was intended to be intense, sensual, yeah. Like if you, in extreme poverty, you could going better slavery to enact a more accurate term would be a bondslave bondslave. If you are in bankruptcy, you could you could pay it back. Not with currency but with time running their slave.

If you if you do some he gets about someone and they lost something as a result, you could use your time with them as restitution. So there are lots of situations that this was a way in which to come to equalize and bring justice.

It wasn't about kidnapping people.

This is a way to control and regulate a practice that was common to all mankind to write but if you think about it occurred to me that slavery is a is an idea presents a human condition that is present all the way through the Scriptures you run into it and every block is a powerful and useful image because was a slave slave is one who has no will of his own. His will is completely subjected to his master. Yes, of this out. This section is all about how to limit mess, but that becomes a very helpful concept in the New Testament right when Jesus says hey if you send your slave of sin right and and Paul unpacks this idea of slavery is spiritually in Romans six and first Corinthians unite your own you bought with a price, so, so it's a very useful image so that maybe one reason why God does not say don't have slaves rights as everyone is a slave to something or someone will doctrinally verse 190. These are the rules of the judgments that you shall set before them. So when you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years and in the 70s should go read for nothing well and isn't that interesting were not talking about eternal slavery or risk and you basically use them for six years and 11 go your own people. Your own people. Yeah, that. That's a change from what we think is standard slavery and and you know all just leave it there personally know if he comes in singly should go out single but if he comes in married and his wife shall go out with them, but if his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters. The wife and her children shall be her Masters and he shall go will go out alone is an interesting wrinkle that we sort of like when we read it, but if he comes in married and has children will when he's released he goes out with his wife and children. They don't stay with him. But if the if the master gives him wife which presumes that the Masters sure to have someone as a slave already. Right you know in terms of that, property, and give them it's still the Masters property. This this wife you know that that does not sit well with separate rest allegory. However, there is that there is a nice clause or verse five but if the slave plainly says I love my master, my wife and my children. I will not go out free, yet she elects not to leave right if indeed he loves his master that his master shall bring them to God, he shall bring them to the door or the doorpost that his master shall bore his ear through with it all and he shall be his slave forever. Okay, wait a section for so what he saying is that if he really loves his wife and his children but he loves his master, he loves right after so much. He says I want to commit to you eternally like for the rest of my life than the extra punch a hole in his ear and dishonest trademark so that so that that's exec you what happened and he any elects by his own choice, not to be freed to continue on as a servant of this master exactly who that has brought him life in a sense Jeff given him a wife given him children. His his whole benefit and livelihood is tied up with the well-being of this master.

He wants to stay part of the household was just a part of the household effect later on Scriptures. You might sit around there. When you read, you will see an interesting phrase it goes out that says my ears have been opened and that actually is not just hearing you means.

This means that I have willingly subjected myself to work and exist for this master. That's what that's all about that fascinating what was going oh press okay verse seven is when a man sells his daughter as a slave what sin shall not go out as a male slaves.

It will this this is a kind of away. If you think about dowries and marriage and stuff like that. This is how a woman could be introduced into another family with the idea of marriage coming while basking to become clear yet less as result eight so she does not please her master who is designated her for himself that he shall let her be redeemed. He shown he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall do with her as with a daughter and if he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food or clothing in her marital rights and if he does not do these three things for her she shall go out for nothing without payment or month. Okay so this is absolutely revolutionary at this time just to talk about the rights of this woman who has been sold for a price into another family met with the intention of being a wife being a wife, betrothal process and write it it it is kind of a work version of dowry, so this really is not slavery as we tend to think in our American history. This is listen to the rights that this woman has right. She's not cast out. She's not to be sold off to another people who will treat her differently if he should take another wife assuming that she has been sold to be a wife. He can diminish her food.

Her clothing nor her marital rights are treated well, this woman has rights in this family about that a female slave with right there was no other culture in the world that had this kind of legal regulation regarding female slaves. Yeah, and if he changes his mind about dubbing Mary to her or you know what his sons does not want to marry her. She's she's still highly protected right as she was freak she's let free. She doesn't have to pay for her freedom right exactly how yes that's astonishing that's that's really unheard of in ancient cultures was move on verse 12 and I'm getting a feeling when I can finish this and this. It was just stop talking start reading. Whoever strikes a man said that he dies, shall be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand. Then I will point for you a place to which you know that's protective protective it happens accidentally right but if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die, so this is what it looks like for someone who breaks that commandment you shall not break right and interesting enough introduces the idea premeditation is an issue right as the guilty right and that's part of our justice system as well.

I met taking for my altar. This is, that was usually a statement of refuge right if someone will write if they went to the altar, they could come to seek refuge so that said no. I will provide a place for you to flee if it all happen by accident. Okay verse 15 whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. Well, that's what it looks like when you break the commandment up about honoring your mother and your father and you have to see the strikes not just sit them is like in verse 12 strikes me and so is he does so.

The word this is a serious Deal. 16 whoever steals a man and sells him and anyone found in possession of them shall be put to do. Okay, there's a slavery there is no class this African slavery you steal a person and then you sell them. That's not what were talking about and is guilty of capital punishment capital punishment because you have stolen that man's life stones life. 17 whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death, and we see cursor were talking about threat of killing you.

This is serious, stuff you know, shall be put to death your father mother so verse 18 when men quarrel in one strikes the other with a stoner with his fist and the man does not dive it takes to his bad then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff. He who struck him shall be clear, only he shall pay for the loss of his time in Chelsea and thoroughly healed okay so it's not like he goes completely free write one who started this fight and injured somebody else and it lays him up for a while the camera has fields will than what you have to do is you have to know the loss of his work done okay but the next one is really startling verse 20 when a man strikes his slave, male or feet down with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be then just but if the slave survives a day or two. He's not to be events for the slaves is money so that the lives of slaves were to be judged there protected men or women in the survives due to kind of cancer premeditation.

You know like if you just outraged manslaughter, kind of, and lashed out at somebody. But if you premeditated your Killam on Friday July this is kind of a statement of whether it was premeditated. Okay the next one again were seeing it so protective of women look at this verse 22.

When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman so that her children come out right or another words you missed carries as a result of the blow, but there is no harm, no further harm to her, the one who hit her, shall surely be defined as the woman's husband shall impose on him and he shall pay as the judges determine, but if there is harm to the mother, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

That is a lot detail regarding the injury of a woman who has been forced to miscarry at the abusive blow of another amazing thing, but it is unlimited.

It's their people many times to understand this is eye for an eye thing is is a limitation is to lose. You can only claim you can say well I lost my so I'm going to destroy the whole bill of rights of vengeance.

It looks like a vengeance. Although next week will see that if you strike your slave and you lose and I got let go. That's a whole different thing. The eye for ideas is limited retribution.

It is what it is.

This is not a reason to just bring vengeance and how amazing that even here at the very earliest institution of the law. There is a recognition of the value of the baby that pregnant woman just carrying you if you hit a pregnant woman. Verse 22 and cause her to miscarry very big deal Olson. We are like out of time. I think were going to have to stop the list right here next time and and finish this list on in chapter 21 but but some final thoughts before we kinda go off you know and come back next week is the fact that these these are as you see them. These are all limitations and in their their limitations so that justice is served and we have a God who is passionate about justice and, in fact, when we talk about end times events. What thrills most people is affected and in time events. God will complete bringing justice to make sure that the right things are and so we have a God of justice and the God who is establishing this new nation of Israel and the only thing they've known about ethics and morality is the justice system of Egypt, which was actually kind of twisted in many respects slaves in Egypt could be mistreated and they themselves experienced. So he says when there's someone who's working for you full-time, you can't miss treat them like you did in Egypt was fast anything is one of the first thing he talks to Israel about when they come out is to establish the nation and I did take you from being slaves in Egypt but let's talk about how it should be done well when someone works final thought. Well I think were at the time. I just wanted to read Micah 680 man, what's good. What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and their statement of God to do justice to what is just the end the nation of Israel will testify to God is by this profound justice system specs the person doesn't do with the rest of the world to different places holy and set apart so I'm Jim and we are loving talking about this with you will come back to these laws next week. Continue to expand the 10 Commandments on Main Street church is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments. So

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