-This chapter begins with some more sundry laws and regulations. These primarily revolve around justice being honest in one’s testimony and reports. The children of Israel are warned not to follow the masses in doing evil. This as we know is a tendency of man in his natural state and has had horrible consequences through the years. Jesus was a victim of mob mentality in His crucifixion (Matthew 27:20, Mark 15:11-15). One only has to think back to the scenes of Nazi Germany or the recent Arab Spring events to see the effects the masses have in stirring up a society to pervert justice and create chaos.
-Some laws for returning lost animals, even of the enemy, are given. The people are warned to stay from away from false charges and not to kill the innocent or the righteous. God will not acquit the guilty. *Application* We are all guilty under the curse of sin (Romans 3:23). Our only recourse is to trust in the Name of Jesus to forgive and cleanse us of all sin and unrighteousness (Ephesians 2:8-9). To reject Christ is the unpardonable sin and will incur the ultimate wrath of a righteous God (John 14:6).
-Taking a bribe is also outlawed because it blinds the eyes of the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just. Strangers are not to be oppressed, which the children of Israel should easily be able to identify with. Harvest laws are expounded upon for the purpose of the poor and the animals and rest for the land and its people. Other gods are not to even be mentioned or heard from the mouths of the Hebrews. *Application* God wants exclusive worship and deserves it.
-Three national feasts are presented unto the LORD in which all the males were to appear before the LORD. These are the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Harvest (First Fruits), and the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when the fruit of the field is gathered in. The choicest of the fruits are to be presented before the LORD. *Application* God wants our absolute best effort in every situation. Do you give Him half-hearted devotion or are you completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9)?
-The steps in the conquest of the Promised Land are given next with what the borders of the land should be. An angel will be given to the Hebrews to guard and lead. They are to listen to his voice and obey completely because he is from the LORD. No rebellion will be tolerated. If they serve the LORD, they will be blessed in food abundance and sickness will be removed from their midst (Exodus 23:25). The LORD outlines the people groups who will be destroyed and how that will happen in steps. No covenant with these enemies of God is to be made and they are not allowed to live in the land because they will incite the children of Israel to sin against the LORD and that will become a snare. Sadly, the children of Israel eventually fail to follow through with this command and we still feel the results of this in the Middle East today. God foreknew what needed to happen for complete peace, and when the children of Israel did not obey, continual conflict and sin was inevitable. *Application* Only complete obedience to the LORD will be blessed completely.