Tuesday, January 28, 2014
“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).
Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.
When JEHOVAH God first proposed the Mosaic Covenant, Israel declared, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8). After that Covenant of Law was delivered and before it was ratified, Israel again affirmed, “All the words which the LORD hath said will we do,” and “All the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Exodus 24:3,7). After the 40-year wilderness wanderings (due to Israel’s disobedience), the new generation of Israelites echoed, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us” (Deuteronomy 6:25).
The Israelites, like any descendants of Adam (sinners), wrongly believed they could actually do everything that God commanded them, that they could actually be separate from the pagan Gentiles around them. They believed they could be righteous—that they could have a right standing before God—by keeping hundreds upon hundreds of divine laws. Even today, millions of souls in “Christian” churches and groups have “revived” this legalistic system—a system that God has already deemed a failure because man is naturally unrighteous. Religion (even the Mosaic Law) merely reforms the outward activity (behavior), not the inward nature (the root of the behavior). Man’s nature must change if he is to keep God’s laws.
As the centuries passed, Israel’s corrupt religious leaders polluted God’s pure Law system first given through Moses, by inserting their (manmade) rules and regulations. Eventually, it did not involve honoring JEHOVAH and having faith in Him (His original intention): it became a monotonous system of religious busyness that made people appear godly (and yet, God was not in their hearts). This was the vain system that Jesus condemned in His day (Matthew 23:1-36, Mark 7:1-23, et cetera). Israel used the Law, not as a means for proving God’s righteousness, but for demonstrating their self-righteousness (the Pharisees, for example).
Let us learn the lesson that Israel will one day learn….