And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…
While much that appertained only to a temporary dispensation, still great principles included in the formal regulations, as -
I. RELIGION SANCTIFIES, preserves, and perfects the whole humanity of man.
1. It preserves the true order - God first, the creature subject to the Creator.
2. It utilizes the central power of human nature, the moral and spiritual The mind is the man, and the mind is not mere intellect, but moral consciousness and aspiration after God.
3. It puts the individual and the social in their true relation to that which supports both - the positive and public worship of God. The temple at Jerusalem represented the center of the nation, Jehovah's throne. Humanity can be, will be, developed into a true family of nations only round the house of God. All non-religious influences arc disintegrating to the nation and the world.
II. THE LIFE OF MAN IS THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL OTHER LIFE ON THE EARTH. The lower natures depend on the higher. God has taught us by his Law not only to use them, but to reverence them and to hallow their instincts and the laws of nature as exhibited in them. Science may discover secrets, but it will not protect the weak. The reverence for that which is below us is even more a yielding up of our nature to the Spirit of God than the mere bowing prostrate before that which is above us. The selfishness and tyranny of the stronger over the weaker can only be cast out by religion.
III. ALL LAW IS CONSISTENT WITH FREE AGENCY. "At your own will." The true service of God is that which the heart renders. We blend our will with God's will in the acceptable life. At your will, but by the regulations of the Law. The mere capricious individualism of the present day is no true liberty, but becomes the most degrading bondage. The covenant relation of Jehovah with his people lay at the foundation of their obedience: "I hallow you," therefore hallow my commandments and my Name. In that loving bond of sanctification all believers find their strength. They are not their own, they are bought with a price. Paul rejoiced to be a "slave of Jesus Christ." The Jews made their Law unto death, not life, because they departed from its simplicity and forgot its spirituality, and "made the Word of God of none effect by their traditions," forging their own fetters. The key-note of the Law is redemption. "I am the Lord which brought you out of Egypt," etc. The key-note of redemption is love. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,