Author’s note: Breathe. Sigh. Let’s get things into perspective. This piece was written at the right time. Read on . . . —Jennifer
I finished the Books of the Law again this morning. This area of the Bible has lots of difficult parts that I’m still wrestling with, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading through them this year (if you haven’t read for a while, I highly recommend it!). As I’ve been meditating on this idea of the tone of the gospel, the Books of the Law drove this point home:
God cares about every detail of society in such a way that He will be known.
Listening to the amount of detail and how comprehensive the Laws are communicates the depth and breadth of God’s care over creation and human society in creation. Here are some highlights that stood out to me from my reading:
● God cares about every detail of the human experience from dealing with disease to where we go to the bathroom because it shows His care for body, emotions, and mind of the humans He created including neediness because of the curse (Lev 12-15; Deut 23)
● God cares about power dynamics at every level of society and how society cares for the person with less power. A proper dynamic points to His covenant love in adopting His people (Ex 22; Lev 19, 20, 25; Deut 10, 18, 21, 24)
● God cares about societies being their brother’s keeper (even your “enemy”) because it shows how He made humans to be communities. It demonstrates His mission to renew every nook and cranny through His people (Ex 23; Deut 19, 22)
● God cares about how animals and plants and soil are treated because it shows His care for all of the matter He brought into being (Ex 20; Lev 19; Deut 5, 20)
● God cares about criminal law including giving ways for God’s people to know how little they know about justice and how desperate they need His mercy (Ex 23; Num 35; Deut 4, 19)
I wish I had more time to drill down into each of these examples in this post. Maybe I’ll try in some future posts when I get a chance. In either case, I encourage you to read through the references above. I encourage you to read them less like you are an American. I encourage you to read them more like you are listening to God.
God’s priorities in society are comprehensive and weighty because this is His world. Jesus fulfills this difficult law perfectly through His life, death, resurrection, and empowering every body part of the church to care about each detail unto a new heavens and new Earth!
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
– Jesus (John 3:16 CSB)
Application question for Evangelicals (especially me): How do your political and social priorities proclaim the Jesus you say you believe in both word and tone?