Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Seethe a Kid in His Mother's Milk

Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. Exodus 23:19.

This is one of those very strange old testament laws given to us in the midst of a list of Sabbath, Feast Day and tithe regulations. It may seem oddly placed but it is not and has great significance to us. We should heed it with heart wisdom.

The principle is taking that which is meant for life and causing death. The Sabbath was a gift given to Israel by God. It was meant for their rest from the weary task of work. In due time, Israel was to make a mockery of the Sabbath in two ways. One, in not keeping it at all and pursuing their own advancement on the Sabbath. But another way to not keep the Sabbath is to make such a mess of it through additional rules that it is really hard work to keep track of whether or not you are keeping the Sabbath. Can we turn the lights on on Sunday? Can we drive to Church? Can we drive any further than that? How much further? Oops, we went too far, can we purchase fuel to get home? And finally the thought occurs to us, "I hate the Sabbath, it is too much work to rest."

Jesus deals with the Jews in His day on just this side of things. The Sabbatarians were out in force making sure Jesus and His disciples did not work on the Sabbath, but Jesus healed a man and the disciples gleaned in the fields. Who were the Sabbath keepers and who were the Sabbath breakers?

We have many such things that are meant for life: Lord's Day Worship, Christian Education, The father as head of his wife and of his household, The Lord's Supper. Are these all means of grace and life to you and to your children? If so, then Amen and Amen!

But if not, why not? Do you not attend Lord's Day Worship? Then go. But do you go and find it a source of drudgery and complaint? Then, you need to change your place of worship or change the way your worship, most likely the latter.  And the same goes for the rest of my list. It is not merely that you DO these things but HOW do you do them? In a way that blesses the Lord and brings life? Or, in a way that pinches the nose, purses the lips, wrinkles the brow and brings a slow death? Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk!

For more on this, listen to our Lord's Day Sermon for Nov. 10, 2013.  The sermon should be posted ten days after the service.

No comments: