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  • Writer's picture Peter Kupisz

Dealing with Unpleasant Parts of Law Given by Moses

Does everything contained in the Mosaic Law reflect the perfect will of God?

Although the law, given to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, was given by God it does not necessarily represent God’s highest ideal. This can be seen from one of Jesus’ comments when he was asked about divorce. In Matthew 19:3-10, the Pharisees came to Jesus, attempting to trap Him with questions about the Law. They asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” Jesus informed them that divorce was not part of God’s plan. Then they asked him a follow-up question: “Why then did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” If the Mosaic Law allowed for divorce then it must be God’s will, they reasoned. But Jesus responded that this provision was not the ideal. He stated, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”

What this shows is that even though the Mosaic Law permitted certain things (e.g. certain forms of slavery) they do not have to be taken as morally perfect instructions.

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