It's all good and well to want to read through the whole Bible, but what about reading through the Law—the first five books of the Bible? Genesis is interesting, but what about the next four books? Trying to make it through the various laws and requirements can get dry and monotonous.
So, is it relevant for Christians to read it? Well, we know as good Christians we ought to read it all, but do we want to? What if there were a couple of good reasons that made it relevant?
[bctt tweet="We know good Christians ought to read the whole Bible, but do we want to?"]
2 Initial observations
First, reading through the books of Law, especially Exodus through Deuteronomy, can seem slow and tedious. So, unless you're studying it for a specific purpose like teaching, I've found it helps to read through them in a readable version.
[bctt tweet="Finding a good, readable, reliable version is helpful for reading the whole Bible"]
What version of the Bible do you usually read? Here's a couple I've found that are readable and reliable—
Second, these books related to the Mosaic Law speak of things that took place a long time ago. Not only that, Christians aren't under the Law anymore (Rom 6:14), they're under grace! But since they are still in the Bible, we need to understand their purpose. A hint is given to us in Hebrews 8:5 (NCV)—
The work they do as priests is only a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven. This is why God warned Moses when he was ready to build the Holy Tent: "Be very careful to make everything by the plan I showed you on the mountain."
2 Things stood out to me
As I continued in my Bible reading plan for this year, I came to the book of Leviticus. Even though I've read through it many times, I was struck by the tedious details of the Law. It's not so much the details, but the repetition of their explanation.
But then I saw a couple of things in a newer light. They've been there all along, and I've heard similar thoughts, but they came into focus more clearly.
First, Moses learned everything directly from God. All the things he would pass on to the first high priests, Aaron and his sons, originated from his personal interaction with God.
[bctt tweet="What Moses learned and passed on originated from his personal interaction with God"]
Second, most of what Moses directed to be done, he did. In other words, he didn't ask Aaron and his sons to do what he hadn't already done.
As I thought on these two things, I saw how relevant the Law is today for Christian believers. It became clear because I could see it in how Jesus discipled the apostles.
2 Simple observations
1– Here's a key element of discipleship that produces leadership— a teacher/mentor needs to not just know things, but do them first. Whatever truth or training is passed on must be instruction or guidance given by God personally. It isn't formulated theory or strategy, but spiritually revealed.
The leader doesn't just teach, but demonstrates by example whatever is to be passed on. This involves clear instruction, guidance, and the opportunity to work alongside a leader, not just teaching and delegation.
[bctt tweet="A leader doesn't just teach, but demonstrates by example whatever is to be passed on"]
2– The detailed instructions for the sacrifices and offerings gave clarity and meaning to them. They weren't capricious, meaningless, or arbitrary demands of some impersonal deity. They were requirements and instructions given directly by a personal, all-mighty, and living God.
[bctt tweet="Detailed instructions for the sacrifices and offerings gave clarity and meaning to them"]
The origin of the way God's people were to worship this living God, originated from God, Himself. Idolatry and most religious rituals originate from the worshippers, not by God's direct guidance. True, they may be a sincere response of worship and have value, but their perspective is human and of earthly origin.
Relevance or relevant?
Today, much is written and spoken about relevance. A common question is, how can discipleship become more relevant for a younger generation? Most praise and worship, and Christian music in general, is already driven by relevance, or at least what is most popular.
This brings me to my two observations of how the Law is relevant today.
- Genuine discipleship, which results in the equipping of leaders, is personal, relational, intentional, and provides an experiential example, rather than theological theory.
[bctt tweet="Genuine discipleship provides an experiential example, not a theoretical one"]
- Genuine worship is God-centric and of heavenly origin, rather than worshipper-centric and of earthly origin.
[bctt tweet="Genuine worship is God-centric and of heavenly origin, rather than worshipper-centric"]
What are your thoughts on discipleship and worship?
What is your experience with reading and understanding the Law?
Here's a link for a relevant article on Bible reading— 3 Reasons Why Reading the Bible Feels Like a Chore