OBEDIENCE; EVEN WHEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND
Our next lesson has a rather odd subject.
We’ve reached the section in the scriptures of Exodus where God tells Moses not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
My first question is: would Moses ever really do such a thing in the first place? Perhaps some of the Hebrew people had done this in the past. This is something unthinkable for most of us! Just the cruelty of the process would be enough to break most people’s hearts and the irony of such a thing would be horrible.
All of that aside; why do you think God actually brought this strange subject up?
Welcome to our ongoing every Thursday chronological bible study called COME AS A CHILD. Today we find ourselves studying from Exodus Chapter 34; verse 26. If you missed last week’s lesson; you may review it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/requirements-offerings/.
So once again I will ask the question; why did God bring this subject up?
SOME THINGS ARE HARD TO TALK ABOUT
Have you ever had to bring up a subject with your children that you really did not want to discuss?
There are just a few things that we don’t like to talk about with those that we love the most. I imagine maybe God was feeling this way about such a horrible subject; and perhaps that is why it was His last remark in this long, important conversation with Moses.
Some things are just not fun to discuss; but they must be said all the same.
God clearly told Moses that the people should not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
I suppose we are to take this literally. But why?
SOME THINGS CAN BE MISINTERPRETED AND EXAGGERATED
Ever notice how these hard to discuss subjects often get talked about by people who do not really understand them. Often they exaggerate and twist the truth and make the truth of the statement be blown all out of proportion.
Often it is human nature, when we don’t really understand a subject, to invent some logical sounding reason or to make the statement important in a different way than originally intended.
That seems to be what the Rabbi’s have done over the years with this one little statement from the scriptures. Many of the honest ones will simply admit that they don’t understand this scripture. Some of the more zealous ones have come up with a million different reasons why meat should not be boiled in milk and applied these things as if they were the law.
I’ll let you decide whether or not to pay attention to their rather far-fetched logic; but let’s try to stick to the subject and think about exactly what God told Moses
TRUST AND OBEDIENCE WORK WHENEVER WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND
Simply do not boil a young goat inside its mother’s milk.
It is okay to take God at His word and simply follow His literal instructions.
One obvious lesson learned could be that this passage is simply a little test to see whether or not we trust that God is smarter and/or thinks higher than we do.
We don’t actually have to know the reason for this instruction (or any other instruction of God for that matter;) we simply have to obey what God said to do (or NOT to do.)
Funny how no one ever looks at things that way; but that is just how we humans work. We always have to question the validity of things and we want to know the reason behind the processes of life. There is only One who truly knows with complete wisdom; why not just follow His instructions?
For some reason; God told us not to do this; and we just can’t be intellectually satisfied with simply trusting God and going on with simple obedience to the truth. Nope. We have to ask that same old question we always ask; “why?”
There are a lot of theories about the “why” of this commandment from God.
The one that seems to be most logical and most trusted is the fact that the pagans used to do this very thing as one of their superstitious rituals each spring. They thought that boiling a young goat alive in it’s mother’s milk would make the land more fertile. The land was to be more fertile because for some weird and twisted reason they thought this act appeased their false gods.
So; the main reason for this last commandment is very similar to so much of all that we have studied in Exodus.
It is simply a reminder to avoid pagan practices.
YET ANOTHER REMINDER NOT TO BE PAGAN
If I were to summarize the whole meaning of the book of Exodus into one short sentence; and if we had to pick one word to describe all that God was saying the most and the loudest to the people through out this book; the word would be “pagan.” The sentence would be “Do not be pagan because God hates paganism!”
God abhors all things pagan and practically the whole book of Exodus is a study on how not to act as the pagans do.
This was something that God hammered home over and over again. His people were to come out of the ways of the pagans that possessed the land. They were to enter the land living under God’s ways and no other ways. Nothing about their lives was to resemble any type of pagan practice at all.
A FIRST REMINDER AND A LAST REMINDER
It is interesting that this strange command is also the last warning God gives in the conversation with Moses about the covenant.
After God spoke of forbidding this practice; He was finished summarizing the things that make up the covenant.
The very last thing God told Moses was similar to the very first thing He told Moses; no paganism! “You shall have no other gods before me!”
The people of this Covenant with God were to worship God and God alone.
It could not be made any plainer or become any clearer than this; and it could not be stated enough times. God went to great lengths to emphasize this particular hatred for all things pagan; and once more this particular passage is positive proof to us today that God meant what He said.
If we are going to follow God and keep His covenants; we are to be pure and true to God and only God.