Things to consider when reading the bible;
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there an example to follow?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a principle to follow?
Thoughts to consider
- It’s good to notice God’s care and compassion even in these chapters. Firstly He provides for the poor, for those who can’t afford a Ram or goat, they can bring a dove or if really poor, some flour. He always cares for the poor and wants them to be included. Secondly, He even makes provision for those who sin unintentionally, as soon as they realise they have sinned He provides a way for them. An unintentional sin could be something like neglecting to fulfil a vow or touching anything unclean without realising it.
- We see God’s fairness and justice in the law that when somebody steals from somebody or deceives them. They shall pay back in full and then add on a fifth again. Compare this with other religions who order the chopping off of hands etc
- God provides for the priests by sharing the sacrifices offered to Him with them, but they are still to give an offering themselves. The equivalent today would be pastors and full time staff being given a wage out of the offering. Jesus and Paul both carried this tradition on into the New Testament in Luke 10v7 and 1 Timothy 5v18 respectively, both saying that a worker was worthy of their wages.
- Some of these regulations might seem overly fussy but it is imperative that the people are clear about what is holy or not. They need to get a sense that God is Holy and set-apart and therefore as His people they are Holy and set-apart too. Each regulation indicates this point.
- Blood was commanded not to be eaten because it signified the life of the animal and to drink it would profane it. Blood too was drunk in many pagan rituals of the surrounding nations and the Israelites were to be different. If blood was significant then just for animals, how much more should the precious blood of Jesus (the final sacrifice) be honoured and not profaned. Don’t forget as you read these laws to tie them in to what they were pointing towards, Jesus!