Hope your Valentine’s day was a nice one. Relationships are important and it’s a good thing to have a holiday that celebrates it. Now, if we could just extend it a few more days — another 364? — how much nicer could our marriages and families be?
Anyway, today’s reading is a continuation of instructions on the sacrificial system regarding various types and kinds of needs for them: guilt offerings, peace offerings, etc. One of the interesting situations listed for which an offering should be made is when (5:1) authorities adjure the public (make an official and urgent call for anyone with information to come forward with it — putting the public sort of under oath) for a witness to come forward and one decides not to come forward, he is guilty. In the 21st century, we just call it deciding to not get involved and think little of it; God seems to call it sin, perhaps another form of lying.
One of the more subtle — but important — changes that modernity has made to general morality is honor and honesty. Oh, sure, people have always lied and cheated, but I would suggest that modern standards of honor and honesty are among the lowest in the world’s history. We construct rationalizations, spin zones, and framing to very sharply and narrowly define what telling the truth is. But godly standards of the Bible meant, for example, Joshua keeping his word to the Gibeonites, after they had lied to Joshua. The examples could be multiplied. And it ought to cause us reassess our approach to truth, honor, trust, covenants, and honesty.
What do you find in these chapters that gave you pause for thought?