Old Testament reading Exodus 22-24
Israel was a theocracy. Therefore, her laws governed the people in matters of religion as well as in matters of crime and punishment. Exodus 21 began the system of rule designed to govern the everyday affairs of the people in matters of property, morality and justice. Admittedly, some of these laws seem harsh while others seem lax. I must remember that I cannot judge the laws of Israel based upon my own experience or in light of modern culture. As an American, I find it offensive when Europeans and the “Euro Wanna Be’s” in the media look down their noses at our laws (e.g., capital punishment) they deem offensive or “beneath people of education and culture.” Moreover, we must remember that God is the one who gave Israel her law system. Therefore, that law was perfect in every way to govern His people. This is one primary difference between the Mosaic Law and the gospel wherein people fail to make a distinction. The gospel is not given to govern nations; it is given to govern the hearts of men and the church. There is no system of crime and punishment in the gospel concerning secular matters. However, I believe all nations would be far better off if their leaders’ hearts were ruled by the gospel or the basic principles found therein.
New Testament reading: Luke 10-11
We’ve already noted the Limited Commission of Matthew 10, but in today’s reading we see a second commission wherein 70 others, (in addition to the apostles who were sent out in chapter 9), are sent to preach the gospel of the kingdom. These were sent separately from the 12, but were given the same instructions, including the command to heal the sick (10:9). We would do well to note that there were many in addition to the apostles who were given the ability to heal during Jesus’ public ministry. Before these 70 were sent out, in chapter 9 we saw a man rebuked by the apostles for casting out demons. Why the rebuke? The apostles didn’t know him. Jesus corrects this error by pointing to the man’s deeds as evidence of Divine approval. Elsewhere He said, “by their fruits you will know them” (Matt 7:20).