On more than a few encounters with people discussing ‘the Church’ and ‘Israel of old,’ I have heard the idea that God dealt with them differently before the cross than He does now. The idea gets presented in various forms that all smack of dispensationalism, even when coming from Reformed circles.
Generally, the idea is that Yahweh gave Israel laws at Mt. Sinai in order to prove their inability to keep them (despite Deu. 30:11) and to prove our need for a Messiah. Then, once the point was made, He no longer needed those laws and gave a significantly less ‘burdensome’ set of instructions to those saved by grace.
Recently, this fallacy in Christian understanding has stuck all the more in my craw. It smacks of a God who violates His own Torah.
Proverbs 16:11 says,
And Proverbs 20:10 says,
Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the Lord.
Simply, Yahweh does not judge those before the cross by a different standard than He does those after the cross. He considers unjust scales, or unjust weights to be an abomination… you know, in the class of homosexuality, idolatry, bestiality and child sacrifice. Not good!
Maybe you think I take it too far, so here is a clearer example that spells out the connection between laws, weights, the Hebrew and the one who sojourns with them.
33 ‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.
35 ‘You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just [a]ephah, and a just [b]hin; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 37 You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am the Lord.’”
And, Numbers 15:15-16 says,
15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”
Do we understand that Yahweh’s requirements of Israel before the cross cannot be different than His requirements upon us now, or He is in violation of His own Law by using unjust weights and measures?
Here is another passage from Deuteronomy spelling out the same thing,
13 “You shall not have in your bag [a]differing weights, a large and a small. 14 You shall not have in your house [b]differing measures, a large and a small. 15 You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just [c]measure, that your days may be prolonged in the [d]land which the Lord your God gives you. 16 For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Basically, a God who judges according to differing scales is, by His own Law, acting abominably!
Hmmm…. Explain to me again why you think He has different standards for different people…