4 “Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,” says the LORD of hosts. 5 “My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name. 6 “True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. 7 For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts” — Malachi 2:4-7 NASB
In these fabulous verses we learn of the Lord’s covenant with the house of Levi, who were the priests. Today we have biblical pastors, teachers, evangelists and prophets. In addition, the Apostle Peter calls us — the general body of believers — a priesthood.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies [moral goodness] of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” – 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
Don’t you think that we all ought to be experts in the laws of God as laid out in the Old and New Testaments so that we can be a source of life and peace?
We might liken much of the wisdom of the Old Testament to a comprehensive legal system. There are 613 laws addressing every area of life. From taxation to immigration, business operations to criminal justice, sexual behavior and even the military.
It’s no surprise that the Scriptures would be so wide-ranging in their application. In 2 Timothy 3:16,17 God says, through the Apostle Paul that “all Scripture is inspired” or “God-breathed”, and that He gave us His Word so that we would be “equipped for every good work.” In short, the Bible holds answers for every aspect of life and living.
As a reminder, when I reference “the Law,” I am not referring to the legalistic mis-application of the moral law that the Jews made. The pathway to salvation, or a works mentality in which one could attain enough moral behavior to work their way to heaven, is not the understanding of the broader direction given in God’s manual for life—the Law. I am referring to the moral laws (directives) and the behavioral laws (instructions) that God gave the nation of Israel in order to help them function and succeed as individuals in their society.
By definition, the Torah means, “teaching, or instruction,” and God’s magnificent commands and statutes within the Torah were His orientation course in discovering His will and ways. These were intended to help individuals, as well as the nation collectively, to thrive.
When rightly understood, God’s laws provide thorough guidance in so many areas including, crimes which require restitution; marriage and family laws; abortion and the unborn; inheritance policies; employment contracts; business loans and interest rates, and health guidelines… to list just a few!
Can you imagine if our pastors and everyday Christ-followers were equipped with an understanding of these laws? And, more importantly, how they might be applied within our present culture?
As an aside, the word priest from the Latin word pontifex means, “one who builds bridges” or, “bridge-builder.” Wow, how powerful! I have discovered I can become a bridge-builder to lead people to Christ when I explain what the Word of God says about subjects such as:
• “Whose responsibility is it to care for the poor? (Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Galatians 2:10).
• Qualifications for elected officials (Exodus 18:21).
• The role of Judges (2 Chronicles 19:5-11; Isaiah 1:26, 27).
• How are we to help the poor? (Leviticus 25:25; 35; and 39; Deuteronomy 24).
•The role of Christians in politics: (Judges 9; Nehemiah 8; Isaiah 33:22 and Mark 12:1).
• God’s perspective on war: (1 Chronicles 5:22; Exodus 15:3; Psalm 144:1)
• The power to tax: (Ezra 7:24; Deuteronomy 14).
As Christmas approaches, please consider purchasing a Founders’ Bible for you pastor, friends or family members. You might also enjoy leading a four-week discussion around some of the subjects of the articles in this helpful Bible.
Hey, friends, let’s become experts ion the “Law!”