Do you ever get the sneaking suspicion (or underlying hope) that God gave the Israelites a lot of weird rules just to see what kind of people they really were? For instance, if your son were a big, fat, lazy drunk, would you be able to turn him over to the elders to be stoned to death? I just wonder how many of these laws God banked on the Israelites not doing – sort of like a test of their hearts, yes, but more of an opportunity for Jesus later on. I hope that makes sense without making it sound like I think God just tempted the Israelites to harm one another. Actually, just the opposite. God gave them harsh and hard laws so that the Israelites would think twice before disobeying them, and he gave them the responsibility of carrying through with punishments to remind them not to do awful stuff to each other in the first place. Us modern-day folks could actually use a few extra tough rules like these. However, we have Jesus, and if we can keep in mind the rules of this chapter, which plant the seeds for the hows and whys of what Jesus did for us, we can appreciate his sacrifice for us daily on a whole new level.
Writing prompt: stoned to death
If you were an Israelite, would you fear being stoned to death? Write about why or why not.