Hope your reading is going well this week! We continue in Numbers and will begin Deuteronomy partway through next week!
A few more thoughts on THE LAW.
Preston Sprinkle in his book FIGHT shares something very important about the law. He says:
“The old and new convents are different. Please note: I didn’t say that the God of the old and the God of the new are different. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But sometimes His rules change because His relationship to humanity is taken to a new level”
“In short, the law was not God’s ideal moral code for all people of all time. Rather, God met the Israelites where they were and began to take “incremental steps” toward His moral ideal."
He goes on to highlight four important things:
1. The law accommodates to the moral norms of the ancient near east
2. To exist, they had to take part in these structures while at the same time critiquing them.
3. The law didn't outlaw every less than prefect cultural practice (polygamy, slavery, divorce)
4. Paul saw that the law served the purpose of guiding Israel for a period of time but was not intended to give us never-ending moral absolutes
Will has been reading a commentary on Leviticus by a Jewish scholar named Jacob Milgrom. He added to the conversation this week by sharing some quotes on Leviticus that are important.They are below:
"Values are what Leviticus is all about. They pervade every chapter and almost every verse. Many may be surprised to read this, since the dominant view of Leviticus is that it consists only of rituals, such as sacrifices and impurities. This, too, is true: Leviticus does discuss rituals. However, underlying the rituals, the careful reader will find an intricate web of values that purports to model how we should relate to God and to one another. Anthropology has taught us that when a society wishes to express and preserve its basic values, it ensconces them in rituals.”
"To be sure, when rituals fail to concretize our theological commitment they become physical oddities, superstitions, or small idolatries. Ritual is the poetry of religion that leads us to a moment of transcendence. When a ritual fails because it either lacks content or is misleading, it loses its efficacy and its purpose. A ritual must signify something beyond itself, whose attainment enhances the meaning and value of life. This, I submit, is the quintessence and achievement of Leviticus."
Have a great week! Next week we will have an introduction on Deuteronomy!