Every society has rules to live by. When a young person seeks a driving permit they have to take a permit test. The goal of that test is to evaluate their knowledge of basic driving laws. The test has absolutely nothing to do actual driving; rather it is designed to make sure that they understand the basic rules of the road, which allows thousands of cars to zip all over the country in relative safety.
Rules are important and foundational to community living.
Today’s reading is all about rules. Some are restatements of the 10 Commandments or other laws already given. Some advance and give clarity to rules previously stated and some introduce new laws.
The Lord’s desire was for His people to live in a flourishing society and these were His collection of rules for life.
As a person of the New Covenant I am not bound by these rules and laws, but listening to them provides some understanding of God and His heart for people. For example… verses 9-10 don’t glean to the edges of your field. God builds into His community care for the wayfarer, traveler and poor. There was to be a sense of humanity and care for others embedded into the culture of His people.
I can learn from this and examine my life to see if I, too, carry a care for the poor and needy in my life as
Verse 18, Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge… there is direct connection to life in any time period with these words. Forgiveness and reconciliation are foundational to any lasting relationship. We mess up and hurt one another but repairing the damage is what keeps families and societies together over time. God knows this and shows us a way forward. Relationships are important to the Lord…
Are there people I need to forgive? This is an appropriate question as I ponder this verse.
Not every law leads to this kind of God understanding and personal reflection (see 27, do not cut the hair on the sides of your head…). However simple, to race past all these laws as antiquated means I will miss understanding much about the Lord and also miss some challenges to godly living.
Some questions for my (and your) future pondering of OT laws...
Where did the laws and rules read today intersect with your life?
What did the rules and laws read today tell you about the Lord, God, Almighty?
Oh, God, thank You for Your Word… a light for my path and a window to better know who You, my Lord and my God, are. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen