*** This blog sparked a conversation in light of recent events and I was asked if God would lead us to break our nation’s laws. I address the question after this blog. (see ***Nation’s Laws below)
- “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord.” — Deuteronomy 23:3
- “They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth.” — Ruth 1:4
- “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth… and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.” — Matthew 1:5, 16 (Genealogy of Jesus)
Does God follow rules in scripture? Does God obey the old testament law? The natural response – since God inspired their writing – is certainly God obeys those laws… but any study of the scripture reveals points where the path of God deviates from the old testament. Ruth, a foreigner who should be excluded, begets the Messiah!
Which brings us to a very important point of hierarchy.
In Matthew 12 Jesus’ disciples are breaking the law of the Sabbath. The Pharisees, always good rule followers, tattle. And Jesus responds, “I tell you that something greater than the temple is here… for the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (v6,8)
Jesus – God in flesh – breaks the old testament law, because He is greater than those laws. The Pharisees, bound to those rules, could not accept this. But we are bound to Jesus. Whatever Jesus does, we do.
The passage continues to explain the reason Jesus broke the law. Before healing on the sabbath, Jesus says, “How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Jesus will break laws in scripture for the same reason God broke the law to include Ruth. It is not to benefit himself or for some political gain (ie, to stop paying taxes). God will break the rules in scripture to heal and save ALL of humanity!1
1 This does NOT mean God sins. It is not possible for God to sin. God defines righteousness. Which means the definition of “sin” is to go against God’s way. Just as Jesus demonstrated, there are times breaking the laws of scripture is righteous. Or, putting it another way, there are times following the law is sinful!
*** NATION’S LAWS — Could God lead us to break a law of a nation? Certainly. BUT, only when the laws of the nation are preventing us from following Jesus. And if called to break a law we will LOOK LIKE JESUS in our defiance. So, the recent storming of the capital — what I was asked about specifically — is certainly not a moment where God was leading anyone to break laws. But Rosa Parks… that looks like Jesus to me.
And remember, as stated above, why God would break the laws of scripture. Not for self-preservation! Not so God can rule (if He wanted simply to rule He would follow ALL the rules He gave in scripture, kick out Ruth!). God breaks the laws of scripture because “He desires mercy, not sacrifice” (Mt 12:7). The laws are broken to save the hurting, the lost, the foreigner…
This Sunday we continue examining the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, focusing Sunday on Ruth. I hope you will join us at 10:30, in person with masks or online!