An eye for an eye
Yesterday, the Lord finally gave His people reason to celebrate. It’s almost as if He realized that He’d given them such a long list of “Do nots,” that perhaps it was time for a little pick-me-up. Right when they were probably scratching their heads trying to figure out how to manage all of the new rules and regulations, the Israelites were treated to news of all the fancy feasts they were going to have. And, they could even drink wine!
It’s party time
They were given feasts for every occasion. There was the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths, depending on the version you’re reading). I was so happy for them after reading about these celebrations where they could rest, eat, drink, and be merry. They had been through so much.
But, then today’s chapters brought us right back to reality. We see references to slaves, yet again. But, I’ve already addressed that topic in my previous posts, (Did God sanction slavery? parts 1 and 2).
What really halted my celebration was the woman's Egyptian husband who cursed God’s Name. What was he thinking? Had he not seen his countrymen’s demise at the bottom of the sea? Had he not seen the Levites swing their swords upon those who worshiped the golden calf?
The party’s over
Perhaps he had a little too much to drink during one of the feasts because, in the heat of the moment, his mouth got him into trouble. The guy was stoned to death, at the Lord’s direction. Then God proceeded to give Moses the famous, “Eye for and eye,” speech. There was such finality in God’s punishments then.
God said... But then, Jesus said. So, now what?
Many of these punishments left no room for remorse or forgiveness. No room for correction or rehabilitation. Why was it so easy for God to swing His mighty sword, cutting down the lives of His children? Could it be that he was taking them through a purification process before transplanting them into the land of milk and honey?
Maybe the point is that sin can never go unpunished. It festers and grows like toxic mold. At the very root is the evil influence that hatches its plans. If allowed to go unchecked, that influence becomes the ruler above all.
That seems to be the overarching theme of all that we’ve read so far. The devil would run rampant over God’s creation if the seeds he sows are allowed to sprout. Maybe it’s not the people that God imposes the death penalty upon, but evil itself.
Time to clean up
Before His Son’s ultimate sacrifice, this was His way of blotting out sin, one incident at a time. It was like spot cleaning a shirt that you wear to work every day. Instead of throwing it in the washing machine with detergent, you use a rag to scrub out the grease spots, ketchup stains, ink marks, and underarm sweat. One stain at a time. It was important to hit each stain as soon as possible so that they wouldn’t get baked in, making them nearly impossible to remove. Many of the stains never fully came out. The stench lingered and became a part of the fabric. Many shirts were ruined and had to be destroyed. Oh, but then the washing machine came about! God could throw entire loads of clothes into it. Add detergent. Fill it up with water. And wait patiently while the machine did its thing. One trip through the wash cycle and the shirts would come clean. No longer did He have to scrub them by hand one at a time. He didn’t have to get up close and personal with the dirt and odors. The washing machine made cleaning so much easier that it put Him in a better mood. He could sit back and enjoy the view a little more. His time could be used for other tasks, like teaching people how to dive deep and fly high. Like leading people to discoveries and cures. More importantly, He could now lavish the love He has upon all who commit to loving Him back. Now that's something to celebrate!
Feel free to leave your thoughts below, or on my Facebook page.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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