Loss Scenarios

calendar_today July 9, 2023
menu_book Exodus 21:33-22:17
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Sermon 60 in Series

Exodus 21:33-22:17
[33] “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, [34] the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.

[35] “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. [36] Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.

[1] “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. [2] If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, [3] but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. [4] If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.

[5] “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

[6] “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.

[7] “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. [8] If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. [9] For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.

[10] “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, [11] an oath by the LORD shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. [12] But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. [13] If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.

[14] “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. [15] If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.

[16] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. [17] If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins.

DEEP SHEET: Sermon Study Questions
1.   Where do we see negligence in this passage? Why is it sometimes hard to distinguish it from an accident?
2.   What are some practical steps that we can take to avoid negligence? How can we train our kids not to be destructive to other people’s property?
3.   How do the different levels of stealing penalties show God’s justice and grace? How does Leviticus 6:4-5 illustrate God’s gracious call to turn back from sin?
4.   What does this passage teach about self-defense and the priority of human life over property? How does this affect your thinking on these (and related) topics?
5.   How do these laws remind us of the “uncertainty of riches” (1 Tim. 6:17)? How do they draw us towards storing up heavenly treasure (Matt. 6:19-20)?
6.   Why do vv. 16-17 fit well in this section? What do they say about God’s design for sex?

References: Galatians 6:10; Philippians 2:4; Exodus 20:15; Leviticus 6:4-5; 1 Kings 8:31-32; Ephesians 4:17-28; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

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