Rightly Divide the Word of Truth!
We must understand that any law of God would be perfect in serving God’s purpose. Just as all the laws of nature are perfect, so are the laws for man perfect. When God finished His creation in Genesis 1-2, He saw everything and declared it all to be “GOOD”. There was not a flaw in anything He’d made.
As we closed our lesson last week, I suggested a look at 2 Timothy 2: 15 in particular, which states we must “rightly divide the word of truth”. The “law of Christ” is given in the New Testament, and is the sole guide for mankind today in serving and pleasing God. The Old Testament is comprised of two separate laws, “The Patriarchal Law”, and the “Moses’ Law”. In the beginning, God spoke to the families of men specifically, primarily to the heads of that family. He told them what to do in service to Him. So it was a law between them and God. As men replenished the earth, societies, communities, etc. are established. Men made choices concerning their lives, whether to live in service and pleasing to God, or according to their own desires. Soon men were divided into two groups, sons of men, and sons of God. (Understand that all are actually children of God, but the distinction is made by the choice of men how to live.) We don’t have all the communications and guidance that God gave men, but we are given a few, which I believe are key to God’s message and plan. Noah was the only man told to build an ark/boat. The purpose of the project was explained to Noah, and passed along to the sons and families, Genesis 6. We learn that Noah taught men their fate in hope of their repentance. But he received no takers, much like today. We read of other patriarch’s who chose to serve God, Abraham for instance. After seeking for a son from God, well into his adult years, God blessed him with one, and then asked that the son be sacrificed to God. This was the only case of God requesting a man to sacrifice his son that is recorded. This illustrates how God made laws specifically with the patriarchs of the families. There was nothing wrong with any of the laws God made with them, for they served the purpose God made the law with them. Obedience was rewarded, and usually with personal sacrifice of their own will.
Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God made a covenant/promise, with Abraham, Genesis 12:1-7, which was passed on to subsequent generations. All promises were dependent upon their faithfulness to God. We read throughout the remainder of Genesis of God’s care and provision to these sons of God. And the first promise was fulfilled, a great nation of God’s people. God led them into Egypt where He taught them and reminded them of their dependence on Him and also their faithfulness to Him. We read of no other relationships that God had with other men during this time. (except for Job) Others were still serving God, Abimelech (Genesis 20), and Pharoah (Genensis 12) for examples. But the particulars are not given. Now God has a nation of people, who swore as a whole to serve and obey His Will.
The book of Exodus, gives the account of God directing His nation from the bondage there were under in Egypt. Now there was given a system of law for all within the nation to follow, including both a civil law, and religious law. These governed all the aspects of men’s lives. This system of law is referred to by several names, “the old law”, “the law”, the “law of Moses”—who was the “lawgiver”. The law was perfect within itself, and would establish a perfect society or order, but it didn’t have a clause for any disobedience on men’s part. Thus the law was one of “condemnation”, and “contrary” to men, when they sinned. Prophecy from the prophets, gave these helpless, hopeless, condemned people hope from the promise God made Abraham, “his seed, shall all nations be blessed”, the promise of a Messiah/Savior. Sacrifices of animals were given as a constant reminder of their lost condition and their need for the savior. Each ordinance of the law provided care, provision, blessings, but once violated that same ordinance became and offence and became contrary against the man. Ephesians 2:12-19 and Colossians 2: 12-15 teach how the “new law” the “law of Christ” handled the issue of condemnation created under the “old law”. Thus, we no longer live under the “Old” but under the “New”. Those ordinances under the “old” were also given under the “new” except for one ordinance, “the Sabbath”. And if you research the Sabbath, and its purpose, and the “first day of the week” under the “new law”, you can understand why the Sabbath would not apply under the “new law”. When I obey the ordinance today, I do so because Christ taught it, not that Moses taught it to that nation of people.
Next we will look at how these were contrary to us. Before I close today, let me apologize for the typos in last week’s lesson. I am under a great deal of pain, having had knee surgery. I thought I had corrected them, but for whatever reason, the corrections didn’t go through. I am doing better, and hope to recover in the next few weeks. But I trust God’s Word is able to explain itself to our feeble minds. Thanks for your study with us. Don’t forget our wesite: www.histruth.net .