Posts Tagged ‘Law’

The Law Proclaims Destruction Nigh


For as long as we are pleased with ourselves, and are inflated with the false notion that we are alive, the law is dead to us, because we blunt its point by our hardness; but when it pierces us more sharply, we are driven into new terror. – John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Book of Genesis, 162

My former hopes are fled
My terror now begins
I feel, alas, that I am dead
In trespasses and sins
Ah, whither shall I fly?
I hear the thunder roar
The Law proclaims Destruction nigh,
And Vengeance at the door
Vengeance at the door,
Vengeance at the door

When I review my ways
I dread impending doom
But sure a friendly whisper says
“Flee from the wrath to come.”
I see, or think I see,
A glimmering from afar
A beam of day that shines for me
To save me from despair
Save me from despair,
Save me from despair

Forerunner of the sun
It marks the pilgrim’s way
I’ll gaze upon it while I run
And watch the rising day

Forerunner of the sun
It marks the pilgrim’s way
I’ll gaze upon it while I run,
And watch the rising day
Watch the rising day,
Watch the rising day – Watch The Rising Day, Written by Matthew S. Smith, based in part on a hymn text by William Cowper


Leviticus has some fascinating spots in it. Chapters 13 – 15 are about skin disease on people, mildew buildings and about bodily emissions. Here’s what I find fascinating. We have this ritual required a few times:

[T]he priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds and cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop. And the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh water. He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed of the leprous disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and shall let the living bird go into the open field. – Leviticus 14:4-7

What is really neat to me is that this ritual isn’t given to make the disease or mildew or emission go away. The Bible doesn’t give magical spells for curing people. What precedes this ritual in every place it is commanded are steps to be take to determine if the disease is only skin deep or commands to scrape plaster and remove rocks from buildings or specific time periods to allow after an emission is stopped but never is there a spell or ritual to remove these things. God does not command magic for his people to gain power over the natural world. It is, after all, the world he created and he expects them to live in it. His law gives them ways to live in the world, not power over it.