Follow God's Laws and Flourish
by David Thompson
There are numerous laws in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Through my study of the Bible, I have felt the laws to be overbearing and many times outdated. However, most of the laws in today's reading are really helpful and will make a person's life much easier if followed.
Verses 1 and 2 bring back an embarrassing time in my history. I wish I had used God's wisdom. I was 13 years old and in 8th grade when we boarded the bus to go home. Outside the window were about 30 bike riders getting on their bikes and heading out. Somebody on the bus yelled out that a friend of mine's bike was being ridden by one of the school bullies. I strained to look but I couldn't make out who they were talking about. The chatter on the bus mostly agreed with the first reporter. When I got home, I headed directly to my buddy's house and found out that indeed his bike had been stolen. I immediately shared that "I" saw a bully named John riding my friend's bike and likely he was the one who stole it. To make a long story short, I was contacted by the police and again had to share the story (only once again I stated that "I" saw the perpetrator). The police confronted the boy and his parents about my testimony, but nothing could be proven. Time passed until one day, the friends of John confronted me with what they believed to be false statements that I had made. It was a tense situation, however I lived through it.
That should have taught me to follow God's admonitions and not one situation that I was going to repeat. Likewise, verses 4-8 speak about making restitution to an offended person when possible. Again, words of wisdom, not words of burdening law. Verses 10-13 speak to Sabbath Laws and how they should be carried out. A farmer that I worked for used crop rotation. It was not what God was speaking about when he said to let the fields give crops for six years, but let the fields lay dormant on the seventh year. A similar rest period was specified in verse 12, where it says to work for six days leaving the 7th day for rest and for God. Again this was modeled for me by my friend (a Mennonite farmer). If we went to the farm on Sunday, we found him in prayer and reading his bible. He had to milk the cows, but all other work, was put off until Monday. He was an older man who had a big heart. Are we learning from our mistakes, things that God could teach us? f not, we will make many mistakes that are avoidable.
Dear God, help us see that you know what is good for us and your wisdom is greater than man's. I am sure there are a great number of laws in the old testament that do not apply to us today, but the ones that do, help us to adapt our priorities to follow these as closely as we can. Amen.