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The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt for more than four hundred years. In that time they were persecuted and beaten by their masters.

Once free from the tethers of slavery, God laid down clear instructions on how they should live their lives, settle their arguments, and administer justice. Most importantly, he tells them how they should treat foreigners, reminding them that they themselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. The purpose of His covenant was not to bring them into a new form of slavery but free them from the opportunity to fall into sin and death. He wanted them be a holy nation.

God also reminded them to keep the Sabbath holy, a day of rest devoted to Him whether they were free men, slaves or animals.

 

Jesus in his final days warns his disciples that there will be trials and tribulations ahead. They will no longer be free; on the contrary, His followers would once again be persecuted, beaten and killed and the temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed.

He particularly warned them about the presence of false Messiahs, adding that they should be ignored for when the Son of Man returns, it will be spectacularly obvious, it won’t be subtle. Even today as I write, there are groups of Christians going out in Bristol warning of the end of time and handing out leaflets with passages from the Book of Revelation and many similar activities can be found on YouTube linking wars with the description of the last times in the Bible. Be prepared – Yes! But don’t fall for the voices of false prophets and sin which leads to death.

In the psalm we are reminded not just how powerful God is, but also his abundant mercy is displayed as he blesses his people with peace.

Scripture:  Exodus 21:22-23:13; Matthew 24:1-28; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 7:6-23

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