Taking The Law Seriously

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“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).

“[You] shall [not] wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material” (Leviticus 19:19). 

Have you ever heard the argument that the Bible’s moral laws are not relative to us because the same law also forbids wearing a garment of two kinds of fabric? Some people say that the Bible’s rules against things like sexual sins should not be taken seriously since the Mosaic Law also forbids eating shellfish and wearing clothes of two different fabrics.  But dismissing the Bible that way also dismisses all of its rules, like rules against murder, theft, and child sacrifice. Would you dismiss child sacrifice just because of prohibitions against shellfish?

Of the many rules and regulations in the Old Testament, some seem to us to be irrelevant to us. The modern world no longer has need for quarantining those with skin diseases. Because we fully cook our meat, we have no need for the dietary restrictions listed in the Old Testament. And there are many such laws we ignore.

But dismissing all of the law, including the moral code, is foolish when you realize what the law was really doing. Certainly, the judicial laws and ceremonial laws do not apply, but were applicable only to Israel as a special nation. And that’s the point. God was creating a special and unique nation of people in the desert. Their rules and laws were designed to be a witness to the uniqueness of the God that Israel served. And, the same is true with the moral law, except that the moral law still applies to all of us.

The moral law also sets us apart as a unique people of God. The world may look in and see a people of moral distinction, unlike the rest of the world. And with Jesus as our Savior, we have someone who has fulfilled the moral law and our behalf and died for our infractions of the moral law.

How is your life unique to the world around you? Do people who know you see a difference in you that you can ascribe to God’s goodness? 

Memory Verse

“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). 

Application

As you look at your life, do you see areas where you are compromising your morals, whether in what you say, or do, or watch, or act? Set yourself apart to God as someone unique because of his work in you. Let your witness be unstained by moral failures. And if you fail, immediately take that failure to God who forgives all our sin.

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