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Insight into Old Testament Laws PART 3

Insight into Old Testament Laws

PART 3

 

Continuance from previous posts

This entry is the last one of three on seeking understanding of the Old Testament Laws  …  Again, I’m addressing these because we know God doesn’t change, and when we read these “nonsensical” laws it can be confusing to why He did what He did. Learning about God is an on-going search and discovery. It’s a process, and in that process of seeking Him we are changed.

Specifications on trimming men’s hair Lev. 19:27

This rule reminded the Israelites that they belonged to God. The Israelites were different and to be set apart from other nations.  Their appearance was a reminder to them and other nations that they were special. We do the same today in that we dress to associate ourselves within certain groups of people. It was an outward symbol that others could see to know what group they belonged.

God’s people are to be separate from the world. We are to in the world but not of it. True separation starts in the heart.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev. 15:19-24

Menstrual flow is symbolic of blood covering death for there to be life again. It’s a reminder/ symbol of God’s design, that when there is death, blood is needed as a covering for there to be life.  The un-cleanliness of a woman was due to the death of the seed in her.  This rule is similar to the one in which someone was considered unclean if he touched a dead person. Physical death teaches us about spiritual death. A woman was unclean because death (spiritual) isn’t good. It’s contrary to God, who is life. In Jesus Christ spiritual death was destroyed, as signified by His resurrection. When we are in Him, we overcome spiritual death.

The uncleanliness of death is to teach us spiritual death isn’t good and the blood to remind us that blood (blood of Christ) when it covers us brings life.

Punishment of death for Adultery Lev 24:14

Over and over in the Bible, adultery is used to illustrate what we are doing spiritually when we have idols or put our trust in other things other than God. If we commit spiritual adultery, we will face spiritual death. However, in Christ we are forgiven and thus delievered from spiritual death.

Spiritual adultery is a VERY serious matter. Therefore, physical adultery was very serious; the physical points to the spiritual. When we have this kind illustration, we gain a deeper understanding of the seriousness of spiritual adultery, a seriousness we have lost today.

Homosexuality

As for Homosexuality, the original issue brought up along with these other laws, is also not allowed in the New Testament – therefore it still stands. Romans 1:27 The other laws Christ altered with His fulfillment of the law and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Throughout the Bible marriage and the relations between a man and a woman are symbolic of our relationship with God. Sexual laws are ones that point to spiritual purity. One man (who represents Christ) is to be united to one woman (who represents the church). Not man to man or woman to woman.  As woman is united to one man, we each are to be united to only One, Christ, in purity and holiness.

Further Reading … Man of Love, Man of War

We need to have the humility and understanding that we aren’t God and seek truth and understanding from Him as to His ways. His ways are so far above ours that we won’t ever fully understand for we don’t have His mind, but if we seek then God promises to enlighten us as best as we can understand at the time.


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Divorce (PART I)

Divorce

(PART I)

The question I’m looking at in this two part blog is: According to the Word of God are you to remarry after you divorce?

A friend and I were talking about this very sensitive issue, which prompted me to look at all these verses – and trying to without any justifications or trying to find loop holes – what is God’s will in this area?

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

I wondered if it mattered who initiated the divorce in terms of if you are free to remarry. If my husband divorces me – I really don’t have a choice, so do I still commit adultery if I marry another?

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

Mark 10:11-12 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Matthew 5: 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Why does God seem to be “tough” on this issue? The problem is the land becomes greatly polluted when people are marrying, divorcing, and remarrying and so on.

Jeremiah 3:1 “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the Lord.

Malachi 2:16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”

I want to back up for a moment and talk about divorce. It has struck me lately how marriage is the foundation of society, as our relationship with God is foundational to our lives. If you want to destroy society, which evil does, then destroy marriages, which we see happening on many levels. When marriage is destroyed by divorce (when I speak of divorce – it is all the emotions and actions prior to, during and after – not just the actual legal separation – for these emotions and actions are what are so destructive) the ripple affect is great. Families are broken, which creates broken people, which creates issues on all levels of life– therefore all suffer the ramifications. We don’t live in isolation; all we do influences the whole.

Marriage represents out relationship with God, to teach us about our relationship to Him. The seriousness and impact of a marriage is what it is because of what it represents. The damage created by divorce is great because when we break away from God the damage is horrific in our lives. People’s spirits are torn apart in divorce as they are when they aren’t rightly related to God (though with God obviously the damage is much greater). We are to be filled with love, but divorce fills us with anger, pride, and pain. When our spirits are filled with these emotions, it is very caustic to ourselves and others. Obviously, staying married with these emotions is also extremely harmful. But we aren’t to live with them, but to keep from them or move out of them through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. Let us never underestimate the power of God’s love in our lives. It isn’t about being miserable in a marriage but putting our trust in God that if we honor His will, He will help us and give us what we are looking for – love.

When we marry something changes on a spiritual level within us. We become united to a person unlike we do in any other relationship, again because of what it illustrates. God created it with a spiritual impact. We can’t change that characteristic regardless if we believe or not. It is what it is. Therefore, when we divorce it tears our spirits apart, but not into two intact pieces as before, but ripped, torn, and damaged.

Marriage doesn’t work without God’s love. A lack of His love is the source of this proliferating problem. We have destroyed true love, the one thing that saves us from ourselves, with our pride, anger, and selfishness. We have destroyed it from a lack of seeking God’s face with diligence and passion. We have lost Him as our first love, therefore have lost love.

Only God’s love enables us to do what He calls us to do in a marriage – truly love. We can’t do it without Him – as we are seeing. The divorce rate and the numerous wrecked marriages testify to the lack of knowing and possessing God’s love. We gain God’s love in our spirits to know and to give when we cultivate a real, deep and intimate relationship with Him, which few are truly taking the time to do. Look at what we have created by going our own way. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen so much pain and damage created by divorce. It isn’t the solution. When we don’t seek God’s face, abide in His Word, and draw near to know His love – damage, pain, and pride fill our lives.

Further, our understanding about this topic has been warped by society, which says – just divorce and make it all go away, and start over and make it better. In reality, it doesn’t work that way. We create death in us and others and that is what we have to contend with. On so many issues, we have compromised our beliefs and truth by what society impresses upon us. May we pray to know and live the truth that our lives may honor God’s ways and not man’s. There are few times when divorce is an answer, but that is another blog.

This all being said, I also want to say that God’s mercy is great toward His children; far greater than we ever would be toward one another. We all have all fallen short and do on so many accounts. I’ve seen God’s redemptive work many times in this area. But there still was so much pain and damage done. We are called to seek His truth and His will to live by it in our lives and that is my goal with these posts.

Now that we’ve laid out what divorce really creates in our lives . . . next week we’ll look at the aspect of should we remarry after divorce?

Pray and seek God’s truth on this subject this week and let me know your thoughts.

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An Adulterous Affair

An Adulterous Affair

I was in an adulterous affair for years. I claimed alliance to my husband, but my actions told a different story. I spent my time and energy cultivating trust and intimacy elsewhere. In all honesty, my husband and I didn’t have much of a relationship; it was in word only – not of the heart. We rarely talked. We hardly spent time together. Oh, I played the act of the good wife at the right times, but that is all it was – an act. Yet, I expected him to do so much for me. I hung out more with our friends than him. It was extremely backwards. I was very selfish and one sided. I was so caught up in my adulterous emotions because it felt “good” that I didn’t really think about what I was doing to him, me or to us. I didn’t realize I was living a lie that would never fulfill.

My husband was God. (not my earthly husband)

Today I have a wonderful relationship – beyond my expectations. I’m so thankful He never gave up on me.

Adultery is a deceptive beast because the adulterers are so captivated by the sensual emotions that they don’t realize all the damage and pain they are creating.

There are two sides to adultery. On the side of the adulterer, there are feelings of excitement in the newness, the unknown, and the combined desire. On the other side of the one being cheated on, there are feelings of intense pain and hurt taking claim of their hearts. With adultery, you can’t have one side without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, there is nothing about love in this act. It’s a selfish act that creates intense pain.

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

God is our husband; we are His bride. God uses the example of adultery, something we can understand emotionally, in the Bible so we can taste how He feels when He isn’t our first love, what it does to us and our relationship with Him. Ezekiel 23 (Those who profess a relationship with God are the only ones who can cheat on Him, and play the harlot as He speaks of in His Word.)

I’ve talked before about how God’s people play the harlot against Him today. For example, they willingly trust in other things or people when they should be cultivating trust in God. They don’t spend time in His Word fostering intimacy. Without thought, they put other things and people above Him, even the church. They hold a lackadaisical attitude about spending time with Him. They don’t try to trust Him to be their Teacher about Him. They neglect to personally get to know Him. They give others the place of “first love”. They spend their time on everything else even serving Him but not with Him.

The alluring emotions of playing the harlot blind and deceive people to what they are really doing in their relationship with God – destroying it. This is a description of how I use to be. I’ve often considered the pain and loss, but what recently struck me was the other side of the coin – the enticing emotions that pull people into an adulterous affair so they forsake their first love and how blinding those emotions are to what they are truly creating. And I see many people being blinded by these emotions today.

When we are on the side of the adulterer, it doesn’t seem so bad because it feels “good” even though those emotions are fleeting, only in our heads and not reality. Reality is pain and death are being created in our life. But those emotions and the empty promises they allude to lure us in. They emotionally overtake us pushing us farther into the situation and mask any damage we are creating. We want more of what we are feeling and the cost of our actions is thrown to the wind. Actually, we don’t think about the costs, because we are consumed by the emotions and blinded to all sense of judgment, discernment, wisdom and true love. But the reality is we are creating much pain for all involved. Sometimes we don’t think about how our lackadaisical attitude or not spending time to get to know God affects His heart. But we can understand His heart through His Word as He uses the descriptions of harlotry over and over.

Ezekiel 23:19 “Yet she multiplied her harlotry In calling to remembrance the days of her youth, When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

Love is about intimacy, putting others first, looking out for their needs, desiring to be with them, knowing them, listening and talking with them. No one trusts God perfectly, but what is our heart’s desire? What do our actions and efforts show? Do they show we desire intimacy with our Lord and for Him to be our first love?

It is very easy these days to be blinded to the state of our own hearts. Because of the “feel-good” emotions being pressed upon us by many leaders, teachers and pastors, we are mislead to thinking what we feel is love with God because His name is mentioned when it really is selfish indulgence. If it is so deceptive, how do we know we haven’t been lured in? Look at your life, how do you spend your time? What motivates you? What truly is your desire? Who are you listening to the most? Examining our hearts in earnest prayer with God and in His Word will expose the truth in us. 2 Corinthians 13:5

Until I really spent time and acted like a God’s bride, I never saw my actions for what they were – adulterous. I wasted years where I could have been in an incredible relationship. I’m thankful I’m not wasting anymore.

If you have found that your actions haven’t lived up to your words, make a renewed commitment to Christ to be your first love then start living your life to show it by making time to spend with Him, seeking His will, reading His Word, and listening and talking to Him. God is merciful and is looking for those who will come to Him in truth and spirit. Many of us, probably almost all have been in an adulterous affair against our Lord at some point. But now is the time to set things straight with Him.

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