Laws for Everyday Life
The Lord said:
16 Suppose a young woman has never had sex and isn't engaged. If a man talks her into having sex, he must pay the bride price and marry her. 17But if her father refuses to let her marry the man, the bride price must still be paid.
18 Death is the punishment for witchcraft.
19 Death is the punishment for having sex with an animal.
20 Death is the punishment for offering sacrifices to any god except me.
21 Do not mistreat or abuse foreigners who live among you. Remember, you were foreigners in Egypt.
22Do not mistreat widows or orphans. 23If you do, they will beg for my help, and I will come to their rescue. 24In fact, I will get so angry that I will kill your men and make widows of their wives and orphans of their children.
25 Don't charge interest when you lend money to any of my people who are in need. 26 Before sunset you must return any coat taken as security for a loan, 27because that is the only cover the poor have when they sleep at night. I am a merciful God, and when they call out to me, I will come to help them.
28 Don't speak evil of me or of the ruler of your people.
29Don't fail to give me the offerings of grain and wine that belong to me.
Dedicate to me your first-born sons 30and the first-born of your cattle and sheep. Let the animals stay with their mothers for seven days, then on the eighth day give them to me, your God.
31 You are my chosen people, so don't eat the meat of any of your livestock that was killed by a wild animal. Instead, feed the meat to dogs.
If there is one thing that the Bible declares about God from beginning to end it is that he is sovereign over all. There is nothing he does not know, nowhere that he is not, and nothing he cannot do. He is Lord of all and no area of life is outside of his authority. This truth is woven into the very fabric of scripture and so it is not surprising that we see it here as well.
On the surface we have a series of laws about virgins, sorceresses, and perverted sexual relationships, followed by instructions about the care of the helpless and oppressed among the Israelites, followed by rules governing blasphemy, disrespect for rulers and offerings. But the scope of the commandments teaches us that God’s authority extends to every area of life in the world and to every part of our lives as individuals. No aspect of life is beyond God’s sovereign authority.
One of the myths of our age is that we can compartmentalize life into the realms of the public and the private or the secular and the religious. Too often we are called to keep our faith in the closet away from public view and to think and operate like everyone else as we go about our daily lives. Or we are told that what we do, say, and think is private and has no bearing on our public lives and decisions.
Nothing could be further from the truth and nothing contributes more to a kind of intellectual and spiritual schizophrenia that divides life into water-tight categories that make authenticity difficult to come by. The only way to mental, spiritual and emotional health is to acknowledge God’s rule.
For more about the link between sanity and sovereignty read about Nebuchadnezzar’s experience in Daniel 4.
Sovereign Lord, Lord, there is none like you. You are the Lord of all. We bow before your authority and ask you to reign and rule in every aspect of our lives for our good and your glory. We pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.