26. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR POSSESSIONS.
Exodus 21:28,29 - "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death."
We should be responsible today for our things, pets, family members, etc. "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful" (I Cor. 4:2).
27. TRUE JUSTICE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC STANDING.
Exodus 23:3 - "You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute."
There is a natural temptation for some to be "compassionate" toward the less fortunate and bend justice in their favor. God does not approve of such, nor does He approve of the opposite (cf. James 2). Partiality is a serious problem, not a solution. True justice is not so much about "who" as it is "what" and "why".
28. GOD EXPECTS US TO FOLLOW HIS PATTERN; DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT.
Exodus 25:8,9 - "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of its furnishings, just so you shall make it."
God had given instructions regarding how it was to be done. He didn't take the time to tell them everything they were not to do. Rather, He set forth what He expected them to do. He gave a pattern and the specifics were not trivial. We today must not altar God's instructions either. There is a pattern for us (cf. II Tim. 1:13) and both the big picture and the small details matter (cf. Matt. 23:23).
29. PEOPLE OFTEN HAVE A SHORT MEMORY OF GOD'S EXPECTATIONS.
Exodus 32:8 - "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
What a tragedy, and it happened so soon after God commanded them not to make any carved images! The people who were scared to death of God when they had heard His instructions audibly (cf. 20:19) are now involved in breaking His laws! Had someone (like Aaron) reminded them of God's word, perhaps this could have been avoided. Friends, the importance of regular feeding on God's word (truth) cannot be overemphasized! Otherwise we will drift, following the dictates of our own desires rather than the will of the LORD (cf. Heb. 2:1).
30. REAL LEADERS ARE WILLING TO MAKE GREAT SACRIFICES FOR THEIR PEOPLE.
Exodus 32:32 - "Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."
Moses was willing to give his own life spiritually for his country (Paul would have done likewise, if possible, Rom. 9:3). Moses was a good shepherd, willing to lay down his life for the sheep (cf. John 10:11). The attitude Moses displays here is worthy of imitation. He truly loved the people and was willing to sacrifice himself for their good, though he could not do such spiritually as the next lesson shows.