In my daily Bible reading schedule I have just finished Romans and Galatians. Both epistles deal with the subject of “works of the Law (of Moses)” and “salvation by grace through faith.” On Wednesday nights we are going through the Law of Moses in our Adult Bible class at church. As we go through some of the various laws and requirements commanded of the Israelites you can’t help but be overwhelmed. There is a lot of stuff in the Book of Leviticus. How did they keep it all straight? Why did God make all of these laws? Who could remember all of this?
People often say something along the lines of “I am so glad we don’t have to worry about all that anymore.” I am too. But I want to make two simple points:
- Christianity is not a checklist style religion in which we can go home when everything has been marked off. Jews, under the Law of Moses, were quick to leave God at the Tabernacle. And this is why, in the Prophets, God says things like “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors” – Malachi 1:10. These people performed their “check list” duties but did not allow it to affect their heart. As a New Testament Christian, there is no check list, I am a servant of God everywhere I go – not just at church or with other Christians. I can’t leave God at the building. Yes, the Israelites had a lot to “do” but let’s not think that our lives should be free of service to God outside of church.
- God forbid the only thing we take away from a study of the Old Testament or the Law of Moses be “Aren’t you glad we don’t have to do all of that”! There is so much to learn from a study of the Old Testament, particularly the Law of Moses. How many times does God say in Leviticus “Be holy for I am holy.” God was instructing these people to do specific things because these specific things were in harmony with the character of God. Don’t plant two kinds of seed in one field – why would God care? Because He was trying to teach His people about purity! Of course I am glad that I am not an Israelite serving at the Tabernacle under the Law of Moses, but I should be able to learn something from those who did!