Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 34: The Need for a Pedagogical Legal Structure

The generation that came out of Egypt was unable to apply the Law of God to every area of their lives, being dominated by the slave mentality inculcated by Egypt.[1] Therefore God raised up Moses as a social-legal mediator between God and the people.[2] Although God’s Law was given to the Patriarchs,[3] it was necessary for Moses to re-issue it and institutionalize it for the immature and slave-like Israelites coming out of bondage.[4] This temporary regression was thus necessary at the time, and God was rightly praised for it.[5]

1. Exodus 14:11-12; 16:3; 17:3; Numbers 9:16-17; 11:4-7; 13:31 - 14:4,7-10; 21:5-6 + Exodus 7:11-12; 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 78; 106:7; Ezekiel 20:8; Hosea 6:4-7; Acts 7:39.
2. Exodus 18:19-20; John 1:17; Hebrews 3:1-6
3. Genesis 18:19; 26:5
4. Deuteronomy 4:14; John 7:19,22
5. cf. 1 Kings 8:5; 2 Chronicles 2:12; Galatians 3:9.

Moses and Pharaoh: Dominion Religion vs. Power Religion
What Bible commentators have failed to understand is that the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh was at heart a conflict between the two major religions in man's history, dominion religion and power religion, with the third religion - escapist religion - represented by the Hebrew slaves. What they have also failed to point out is that there is an implicit alliance between the power religion and the escapist religion.
-- Gary North

"Dominion Religion" is the religion of obedient stewardship under God and service toward others. "Power Religion" is the worship of the State. "Escapist Religion" is a desire to escape responsibility, a refusal to exercise dominion under God, and the desire for the State to provide womb-to-tomb security at no cost.

The Old Testament is arguably the most "anti-semitic" book ever written. It describes a miracle-working God who is long-suffering and gracious, and a "chosen people" who ignore the miracles and exhaust God's patience by disobeying the commands. You and I may think to ourselves, "Boy, if I had seen all those miracles, I would have believed and been faithful." Maybe, but Israel was not faithful.

For a people dominated by a slave-mentality, God instituted a visible priesthood and rules which are inconsistently described as both "civil" and "ecclesiastical." We contend that these priestly institutions -- both civil and ecclesiastical -- were temporary and remedial.

Note 3 will eventually contain references from James B. Jordan, "The Law Before Sinai," in The Law of the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21-23, pp. 50-52.

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