Home › Bible Studies › Chronological Bible in a Year Commentary, by Melissa Gibbs › Various Laws, by Melissa Gibbs
More of the same today. Some laws that make sense to us, and others, like "do not slaughter a cow or sheep and its young on the same day". What's the difference if it's the next day? However, we must remember that we are over 3000 years removed from the culture that understood these laws. Some have proven to be timeless and others specific to a particular culture and time. But how do we know which ones to continue to uphold? Why is homosexuality still considered wrong but wearing two different fabrics is not? This is similar to the issue of a modern-day Sabbath. How are we able to pick and choose what we keep and what we relegate to antiquity? Some say we should obey everything in the Old Testament, while others say we are freed from all of it's regulations by Jesus' fulfillment of the law. Still others believe that only those regulations reiterated in the New Testament are valid for Christians.
My Quest Bible does a great job pointing out that we should follow Jesus' example of following the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law (legalism). "It's best to assume that within each law is an enduring principle that expresses part of God's will for us. Some details, written for Israel's situation, will not fit ours. But the truths behind them are timeless and can still be applied. For example, the Old Testament rules that seem to defy explanation often concerned Israel's call to be God's distinct people. In the same way, we should resist pressures to conform to the world around us. We can still apply God's standards to the details of our lives within the context of our culture".
One thing that may have bothered you, as it did me at first glance, was the regulation that priests not be handicapped in any way. This sounds unfair and discriminatory, but we should remember that the priests were to come from a very small pool of people ( men of a certain age, from the tribe of Levi, from the line of Aaron, ceremonially clean, and without defect) such that there was "discrimination" going on at several levels. Furthermore, the mandate about being free from defects mirrored what was required of a proper sacrifice. The priests needed to project an image of what God's considered holy, and His standard of holiness, as revealed in the sacrifice, was perfection.
Speaking of perfection, the one common denominator of this collection of rules is the absolute, rigid, unyielding application of stern justice for disobedience. Curse your mother and father...you die. Marry your brother's wife...you will be childless. Have sex during the monthly period...you will be cut off from your people. These were the things God expected of his people and the consequences for disobedience were severe. Yet we know from Israel's history, that they were guilty of breaking all of God's rules. They were incapable of meeting His standards. But the standards were put in place anyway, just as we do with our own children. We tell them not to lie, even though we know they will not be able to perfectly comply. The standard is put in place regardless of the likelihood of it being fully upheld. Whether or not the standards make sense to us is kind-of irrelevant. Many of my rules are completely illogical to my kids, but I expect them to be obeyed nonetheless. I need not concern myself with whether God's instructions make sense. To borrow an age-old parenting truism, "because I said so" is more than fitting!
Tomorrow's reading: Leviticus 23-25:23
About Melissa Gibbs:
Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD. He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries. Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family. Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches.
Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/
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