Leviticus 24:1-25:46; Mark 10:13-31; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 10:20-21
The High Standards of Biblical Living
The Bible not only delights, it also surprises its readers. In many places, it offends them, too. Maybe you started this Bible reading project expecting the Scriptures to bolster your natural sense of morality and fair play. Alas, by now you have discovered many places where it does not! You have taken the “Bible Challenge,” and you must accept the fact that the Bible really is a challenge.
The Laws of God which are written in the 24th and 25th chapters of Leviticus are a challenge to us. In places it seems very sensible. It seems sensible that the priests of the Tabernacle should be fed from the offerings made there (24:9). It seems sensible that the penalty for killing a man’s livestock must be milder than the punishment for killing a man (24:21). Very few of us, however, can honestly say we are comfortable with the idea of capital punishment for blasphemy (24:16)! There it is, nevertheless.
The provisions for the poor in the twenty-fifth chapter are, by modern standards, extravagant. It hardly seems fair that property, honestly acquired by good business practices, must be returned in the Jubilee Year (25:10), without compensation! There it is, nevertheless.
We don’t need to understand it, or even to agree with it all. We only need to admit that the Scripture’s idea of justice is a challenge to us.
Crystal River, FL