Exodus 21-23 contains further provisions about how God’s people are to live. It’s very easy to breeze through this passage, skimming over the laws to get back to the promised land narrative. However, doing so means missing out on deeper knowledge about the Lord.

As we dwell on this passage, a few themes emerge. The first is God’s commitment to justice. When the Israelites wrong one another, God demands that the one who was wronged be restored in full, and in some cases even increased. Second, God’s compassion is present. He defends the poor, the widow, and the orphan—the most vulnerable in society. He deeply cares about the sojourner, the foreigner, and the slave among them, who would not be of God’s people, but could still find refuge among them.

Finally, see the holiness of God. God asks that the fullness of the Israelites’ harvest and the firstborn of their sons and livestock all be consecrated to Him. He also establishes the Sabbath and strict punishments against those who profane His name with idolatry. Having to surrender both goods and time would have been very difficult for them, as it is for us. Yet God continually shows his wonders of love to the Israelites, through the escape from Egypt and later on, and does the same for all His children.

Today, take some time to meditate on these verses; ask God to attune your heart to His justice, compassion, and holiness present within.