Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

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Secular people, and even some Christians, see the Israelite worship system as the portrait of a demanding God. Sinners must tiptoe around Him or be struck dead. Numbers 4 describes the supreme care taken by the Levites in handling holy objects, which must not be touched by anyone other than those authorized.

For some people, to “fear” the LORD is to be frightened by His power. But the Bible makes clear that God’s care about holy things is about much more than divine punishment. 

The story of Abraham and Abimelech is helpful in this regard. Abraham misleads Abimelech about Sarah being his wife, so Abimelech takes her into his home. But God warns Abimelech not to touch her. The marriage relationship is holy, and God’s law is a defense of that which is sacred. To murder is to “touch” the human soul, which is of infinite value. To covet is to touch with an unlawful thought something belonging to another. To lie is to touch the bond of trust.

When individuals fail to recognize that God and the things that represent Him are holy, they are, in fact, destroying themselves and others. May God open our eyes to that which is sacred and live by His protective law.


Mark Sheffield

Southern Adventist University